Discrimination around the United States

This is a map that shows which states in the United States have laws that prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.  As shown, the majority of the states have no laws to protect their workers, which has made many individuals afraid to come out as gay or transgender at work.  Those who have come out continue to fear going to work.

0*qFRrapxK3JmsamIv

Advertisements

Gender Identity Discrimination in the Workplace: A Refutation

2016-06-22-1466572203-8423433-WD_0

Discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community is an extremely prevalent issue within workplace environments across the country. Many instances in which people were denied jobs, fired, harassed, and more simply because of their sexuality or gender identity unfortunately continue to occur in America today.

In 2014, a few steps were taken towards finding a solution when former president Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited the federal government from contracting with any firms that discriminated against their workers, customers, or clients for reasons such as their sexual orientation or gender identity. Ten days after, he signed an additional order which stated that all firms doing business with the federal government were required to prove their adherence to federal laws and executive orders. This enforced his initial executive order by having all workplaces demonstrate that they are completely fair as well as respectful towards LBGTQ employees.

Years later, in 2017, our country has unfortunately regressed in terms of this matter under the presidency of Donald Trump. Despite his assurance at the beginning of his term that not only did he intend to protect the LGBTQ community but also that he would not rescind the executive order concerning their rights within the workplace, he later proved that he was not on the side of those who are gay, transgender, etc.

On Monday, March 27, President Trump annulled Obama’s second executive order on the issue. By doing so, he took away the requirements for firms having to confirm their compliance to the order regarding discrimination against LGBTQ workers. While that order may still be in place, there is now nothing that is there to back it up and ensure that employers are not violating the law. Not only does this give firms the opportunity to discriminate against those within the LGBTQ community essentially without facing any consequences, but it sends the message to the people that the government does not care whether or not you break the law, which makes doing so ok.

rs-donald-trump-09bae3cb-aca1-4bef-a259-d9656d1b0607

It is upsetting that this order has been rescinded, as well as it is upsetting that no additional action has been taken towards improving the lives and opportunities of those who identify as LGBTQ in work environments. Everybody should be treated equally and with respect despite their sexual orientation or gender identity. The fact that President Trump voided Obama’s order lets the public believe that it isn’t important to respect people who may be different from you and that they do not deserve the same equal rights as everyone else.

Everyone, no matter what sexuality, gender, or gender identity, should be granted the same freedoms as everybody else. It is unfortunate that this may no longer be demonstrated within workplaces following President Trump’s recent decision, but hopefully further action towards putting a stop to LGBTQ discrimination will be made in the near future.

Workplace Tolerance: An Affirmative View

UnknownGender is something that follows people everywhere they go, including in the workplace. Transgender employees are constantly being discriminated against at their jobs. 21 percent of LGBTQ employees have reported being discriminated against regarding hiring, promotions and pay. As a group, we believe this is not fair. All people, no matter what their gender identity is, deserve equal rights.

One company in particular that has shown great growth with workplace acceptance and tolerance of LGBTQ employees is Starbucks. Starbucks is committed to including and accepting all. In May 2016, Lucy Helm, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, released a letter to all Starbucks employees. The letter reinforced Starbucks’ Global Human Rights Statement which reads, “Starbucks is committed to support and uphold the provision of basic human rights and to eliminate discriminatory practices.” They support their employees through everything and do not stand for inequality.

In the past, Starbucks has offered health insurance coverage to their employees who are lesbian and gay and has also supported employees that are transgender or considering transitioning. The company has expanded their health care coverage to include gender reassignment surgeries. This creates a company environment that is respectful and welcoming.

zR9ap6dk-7360-4912This is an image of the Starbucks headquarters raising a Gay Pride flag, recognizing the LGBTQ community.

The work environment at Starbucks has positively impacted many employees. One in particular is Shawn Orchowski. Orchowski had a difficult time coming out as transgender to his family but found “unconditional acceptance” at Starbucks because of the open and inclusive setting.

This sense of inclusion runs deep through their entire company. Each worker fully believes in the company’s goals, including Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz. At an annual meeting of shareholders, one stockholder stated that Starbucks lost customers because of its support of the LGBTQ community and gay marriage. Schultz responded by explaining that not every decision a company makes is based on finances. His decision to support the LGBTQ community was made “through the lens of the people [employees and clients].”

Other companies should follow in Starbucks’ footsteps. The company strives to make everyone feel accepted and to create a space where employees and customers are not afraid to be their true selves.url