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Documenting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in State Employment

The Williams Institute advances sexual orientation law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high quality research with real-world relevance.

Experts at the Williams Institute have authored dozens of public policy studies and law review articles, filed amicus briefs in key court cases, provided expert testimony at legislative hearings, been widely cited in the national media, and trained thousands of lawyers, judges and members of the public. By providing new ideas and reliable information, the Williams Institute makes a difference.

Cover page of Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in South Carolina

Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in South Carolina

(2014)

Approximately 66,000 LGBT workers in South Carolina are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state legal protections. Four localities in South Carolina prohibit public sector employment discrimination against LGBT people.  Only 18% of the state’s labor force works in those localities, and only a small proportion of those workers are employed by their local governments. Currently none of South Carolina’s LGBT-inclusive local ordinances prohibit discrimination in private employment.

Findings from the South Carolina report are consistent with national data. A 2013 Pew Research Center survey found that 21 percent of LGBT respondents had been treated unfairly by an employer in hiring, pay, or promotions. In 2010, 78 percent of respondents to the largest national survey of transgender people to date reported having experienced harassment or mistreatment at work, and 47 percent reported having been discriminated against in hiring, promotion, or job retention because of their gender identity.

Cover page of Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Ohio

Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Ohio

(2014)

Approximately 212,000 LGBT workers in Ohio are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections.  At least 13 localities in Ohio prohibit employment discrimination against LGBT people, yet 81 percent of the workforce remains unprotected by local ordinances.  A statewide non-discrimination law would result in 100 additional complaints being filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission each year.  The cost of enforcing the additional complaints would be negligible.  At most, it would cost the state approximately $214,500 annually; only 2.8 percent of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission’s annual budget.

Cover page of Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Utah

Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Utah

(2014)

Approximately 37,000 LGBT workers in Utah are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections.  At least 17 localities in Utah prohibit private employment discrimination against LGBT people, yet 53 percent of the workforce remains unprotected by local ordinances.  A statewide non-discrimination law would result in 17 additional complaints being filed with the Utah Anti-discrimination and Labor Division each year.  The cost of enforcing the additional complaints would be negligible.  At most, it would cost the state approximately $14,500 annually; only 0.9 percent of the Utah Antidiscrimination and Labor Division’s annual budget.

Cover page of The Fiscal Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in New Mexico

The Fiscal Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in New Mexico

(2013)

Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in New Mexico would bring an estimated $20.4 million to the state economy over the first three years. According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are currently 5,825 same-sex couples living in New Mexico. An estimated 2,913 (50 percent) of those couples would marry in the first three years, according to the pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts, which has had marriage equality since 2004, and elsewhere.

Over the next three years, extending marriage to same-sex couples in New Mexico would generate state and local sales tax revenues of $1.48 million, create and sustain over 318 new jobs, and increase income tax revenue from $344,481 – $745,883. The net impact of these effects will be a positive impact of $2.5 – $3.7 million on the state budget over the course of the first three years that same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico.

Cover page of Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in West Virginia

Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in West Virginia

(2013)

More than 25,000 LGBT workers in West Virginia continue to face widespread and persistent employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections. Charleston, Morgantown, Lewisburg, Harpers Ferry, and Buckhannon have local ordinances that prohibit employment discrimination against LGBT people, but they do not provide as much protection for LGBT people as the state’s law that prohibits other types of discrimination. Approximately 95 percent of West Virginia’s workforce is not covered by a local ordinance prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. A statewide non-discrimination law would result in 12 additional complaints being filed with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission each year. The cost of enforcing the additional complaints would be negligible. At most, it would cost the state approximately $53,750 annually; only 2.9 percent of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission’s annual budget.

Cover page of Employment, Housing, and Public Accommodations Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Missouri

Employment, Housing, and Public Accommodations Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Missouri

(2013)

The 160,000 LGBT adults in Missouri would benefit from an expanded state non-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. There is currently no Missouri law protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. A uniform state-wide law would maximize protection for Missouri’s LGBT population, and provide them the same recourse available to their non-LGBT counterparts.

Media reports and lawsuits document that a number of Missourians have faced discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and the workplace because they are LGBT.  Complaints have been filed against hotels, landlords and retail stores; and teachers, law enforcement, truck drivers, and attorneys have filed workplace discrimination complaints. Eighteen Missouri localities currently provide protection from sexual orientation discrimination by local ordinance, sixteen of which also provide protection against gender identity discrimination, but the ordinances are inconsistent, and less effective than a state-wide law would be. In many cases, the local ordinances do not fully cover public and private employment, housing, public accommodations, and government services, and Missouri state law provides stronger remedies, and a private right of action that many of the local ordinances do not provide.

Cover page of Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Pennsylvania

Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Pennsylvania

(2013)

Pennsylvania’s 174,000 LGBT workers are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections. While 33 Pennsylvania localities provide some protections, 69 percent of the state’s workforce could suffer discrimination without recourse based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Pennsylvania teachers, factory workers and law enforcement officers have all faced workplace discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Uniform legal protections could provide more consistent and stronger recourse for the state’s workers at minimal administrative cost to the government. Many Pennsylvania employers have already decided that inclusive LGBT workplace policies are good for business. At least 139 companies headquartered in Pennsylvania prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, including 37 Fortune 1000 companies, and at least 40 companies prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

Cover page of Local Laws and Government Policies Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity in Maryland

Local Laws and Government Policies Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity in Maryland

(2013)

Gender identity discrimination protections in Maryland are extended through four local ordinances that are inconsistent, and provide more limited remedies than Maryland’s state non-discrimination laws. A gubernatorial executive order that applies only to state employees also exists. The four local laws all provide gender identity discrimination protections in the same areas covered by state law, including employment, housing and public accommodation, though Baltimore City and Howard County also expressly prohibit discrimination in some types of government services. Baltimore City prohibits discrimination in public education and by its health and welfare agencies, and Howard County prohibits law enforcement officers from harassing and discriminating against citizens based on protected characteristics. Notably, the remedies available under the local ordinances are generally more limited than those provided by state law, especially as it relates to monetary relief available through administrative proceedings, and state case law may further limit those remedies.

Cover page of Testimony on H.R. 3017, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009

Testimony on H.R. 3017, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009

(2009)

Testimony before the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Education and Labor

Cover page of North Carolina – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Documentation of Discrimination

North Carolina – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Documentation of Discrimination

(2009)

North Carolina law provides virtually no protection for public employees against job discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. No state-wide statute has been enacted in North Carolina to prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Also, little judicial or administrative action surrounding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the employment context or otherwise appears to exist.