Discrimination of LGBT Employees
The modern-day workforce has increasingly become diversified based on gender, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. However, sexual orientation generates so much contention in today’s organizations and cultures when contrasted with other kinds of diversity. The unrelenting bias has subjected people who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender), especially those who work in various capacities to a wide range of concerns. Whereas those who belong to this population continue to experience discrimination, violation based on sexual orientation seems to have been disregarded in diversity management studies. Only few studies until now have addressed this area as a vital part of diversity management at the place of work. Instead, researchers in diversity management seem to pay more attention to evident features of diversity such as age, race, and gender. Flory et al. (2021) argue that whereas ethnicity, gender, and race are the widely acknowledged forms of diversity, others have substantial impact on business performance, and sexual orientation is among them. Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge that effective management of invisible diversity such as sexual orientation is as just as essential as visible diversity management (Chai & Maroto, 2020). Organizational leaders should acknowledge that the nature of today’s workforce is transforming with regard to sexual orientation compared to what is viewed usually to be a corporate environment dominated by heterosexists. The changes in dynamics may appear to be a significant challenge to trade unions, employers, state officials, and organizational managers, but the things are it is inevitable to embrace measures that would allow organizations comply with the circumstance. Many LGBT employees continue to experience discrimination, danger and discomfort despite the recent attempts to improve diversity and inclusivity, which requires organizational leaders to embrace and implement effective mitigating measures.
Further research in the field of gender and sexuality resulted in the identification of the queer theory as playing fundamental roles in this area. The theory emphasizes on the humanly and flexible sexuality feature, or better still, queer theory emphasizes on the concept of sexualities. The queer theory emphasizes on concepts such as ethnicity (white/non-white), income (poor/rich), gender (male/female), and sexuality (heterosexual/homosexual), all of which feature prominently in the theory (Grzanka, 2020). These facets are perceived as overly generalizing theoretical constructs that resulted in an analysis that hides more than it describes and does not identify restrained distinctions. In addition, the queer theory examines and challenges social and political norms, especially as they relate to sexuality and gender. Queer theorists are similar to feminists in the way they treat gender as a socially constructed public and political issue.
Statement of the Problem
The study will examine the discrimination of LGBT employees at their workstations. There is need to focus on the area because attempts to achieve LGBT equality has made significant progress in the U.S. during the recent past. However, many states still lack effective protective mechanisms to safeguard LGBT people despite the attempts to embrace this population. In 2020, LGBT workers between 11% and 28% complained of having lost a higher job position because of their sexual orientation. In contrast, about 27% of transgender people admitted that they were terminated, denied the opportunity to ascend their work position, or not hired because of their sexuality (Cech & Rothwell, 2020). Discrimination against LGBT people is not restricted to the workplace; it also affect their reach to education, housing, and their rights to indulge in public life. Research by Hatzenbuehler and Pachankis, (2021) indicates that approximately 25.2% of LGBT people had experienced various forms of discrimination in the past year. Hatzenbuehler and Pachankis, (2021) further find from their research that discrimination against LGBT individuals pose significant threat to their health, economic stability, and well-being.
Why it is Important to Study
Societal attitudes and legal reforms have made significant developments in the lives of many LGBT individuals over the recent past in many nations across the world, which is the reason why the matter deserves much attention. Some countries and groups have experienced substantial growth and development in terms of protecting LGBT people while others have not made substantial advancement. About seventy-three countries still outlaw consensual same-sex affairs, while only a few states acknowledge the recognition of trans people, and a few champion for the rights of intersex people. Protections against violations based on sexuality and gender identity are insufficient in most countries across the globe. Research findings reveal that LGBT people are more likely than heterosexuals to be victims of discrimination in learning institutions, handled differently at the workplace, and denied access to critical services even in countries that have made substantial advancements in protecting the group (Chai & Maroto, 2020). Firms need to follow norms and policies developed by international human rights groups, particularly the rights of LGBT people. Companies also have an obligation to foster diversity and build a culture of respect and equality both at the workstation and the communities (Chai & Maroto, 2020). It is encouraging that more firms are acknowledging that eradicating discrimination and promoting inclusivity and diversity has positive impact on economic performance, such as appealing to more consumers and earning their trust, improving decision-making, and appealing to fresh talent.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to show that LGBT people are equally human beings and deserve equal rights and freedoms like any other person. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964) safeguards every person against all forms of discrimination that could occur because of their sex, religion, nationality, race, or color. The key argument of the research is pegged on this legislation that appreciates everyone the way they are and requires every person to have the same perception towards others. Moreover, the study aims at showing that it is possible to
- Are LGBT people more likely to encounter cases of discrimination compared to heterosexual individuals in the workstation?
- Are employers who encourage anti-LGBT discrimination more likely to reduce cases of complaints compared to employers who do not take such measures?
- Are the unions championing for LGBT people’s rights advocating for the creation of laws from the government to defend their rights in accordance with the constitution?
- Are employers liaising with LGBT unions to cultivate inclusive equality mitigation plans?
The study gathers relevant data through systematic literature review. The approach entails critically apprising research with the goal of responding to a clearly devised one or more research question. A systematic review follows a clearly stipulated plan where the outline is stipulated clearly before performing the review. The approach is suitable because it provides a comprehensive and clear perception of available evidence on a particular subject or issue. Moreover, using the technique presents a suitable chance to avoid possible bias that is likely to occur when conducting the research. Nonetheless, it is imperative to understand that conducting a systematic literature review could be disadvantageous because the process could be time-consuming. A researcher must spend time examining the various literatures and find information that match or respond to their research questions. The literature selected for the systematic review come from various sources, include online databases.
Various researchers have conducted studies with the objective of explaining how LGBT people fit in the workplace, and to show whether today’s work environments are more accommodative or not.
Findings from the literature review suggest that tremendous changes have occurred in the incorporation of LGBT workers in the workplace, but more need to happen to overcome persistent discrimination against the population.
The most effective way to engage LGBT employees and avoid the discrimination that the population face is to enact suitable policies that require all members of staff to relate to each other equally rather than casting some people because of their sexual orientation. The policy should be clear and easy to understand. The formulated policy should define the penalties for not abiding by provided guidelines to deter potential violations of LGBT workers. Team leaders should familiarize workers with all regulations and invite them to ask questions in the areas where they do not understand. The policy should be in such a way that it creates a strong sense of inclusiveness rather than avoiding certain critical elements. More fundamentally, it is important to review the policies to ensure they reflect changes and continuously promote the formation of a cohesive team.
Another suitable way to ensure LGBT workers feel more comfortable to serve at the workplace is to offer or encourage anti-discrimination training, which has the potential to equip workers with skills and information that help to embrace the LGBT community in the workplace. The training should cover as many aspects as possible to ensure that workers know how to relate with LGBT workers and are able to settle any differences that are likely to occur among the workforce. The training should also equip employees with effective communication skills that are likely to improve how workers relate to each other regardless of their sexual orientation. However, disregarding the issue and failing to protect LGBT workers against possible violation or discrimination could derail attempts to create an inclusive workforce.
The workforce today is increasingly becoming diverse with regard to sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and gender. The study shows the need for employers to enact regulations that prevent such kind of discrimination; otherwise, some employees, especially LGBT employees may feel out of touch. The research reveals that employers who aspire to create a conducive work environment for LGBT workers should embrace effective communication practices and engage these employees in decision-making. Moreover, the study shows that organizations that aim at achieving competitive edge in their operations will have to implement structures that embrace LGBT workers as well as enact supportive policies. Decision-makers in businesses should consider developing sexual orientation as one area that requires much attention to achieve organizational diversity. The change is inevitable because demographics continue to change and more people are turning into LGBT both as workers and customers. Team leaders should also pay considerable attention to how successful this aspect of diversity can be incorporated within the firm.
Chai, L., & Maroto, M. (2020). Economic insecurity among gay and bisexual men: Evidence from the 1991–2016 U.S. General Social Survey. Sociological Perspectives, 63(1), 50-68. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0731121419849100
Cech, E. A., & Rothwell, W. R. (2020). LGBT workplace inequality in the federal workforce: Intersectional processes, organizational contexts, and turnover considerations. ILR Review, 73(1), 25-60. doi: 10.1177/0019793919843508
Flory, J. A., Leibbrandt, A., Rott, C., & Stoddard, O. (2021). Increasing workplace diversity evidence from a recruiting experiment at a Fortune 500 Company. Journal of Human Resources, 56(1), 73-92. doi: https://10.3368/jhr.56.1.0518-9489R1
Grzanka, P. R. (2020). Queer theory. SAGE Publications Limited.
Hatzenbuehler, M. L., & Pachankis, J. E. (2021). Sexual and gender minority health disparities: Concepts, methods, and future directions. The Science of Health Disparities Research, 429-444. doi.org/10.1002/9781119374855.ch25