Lambda Legal Releases Results of Nationwide Survey of Gay Community on Workplace

Wed. April 5, 2006 12:00 AM by

New York - Lambda Legal has announced the results of a wide-ranging workplace fairness survey of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community conducted with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP.

“The results of this survey are critically important for employers across America,” said Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director at Lambda Legal. “Even though more and more employers have enacted gay-friendly policies because they know it is good business, many employees are still without protection and experience antigay harassment and discrimination at work.”

The survey, the largest in a decade and the first ever to ask how important gay-friendly policies are to where LGBT people decide to work, was administered online through an invitation to Lambda Legal’s nationwide online membership between September 22 and November 4, 2005. The survey had 1,205 responses.

Among the findings:

— 54 percent of respondents said that gay friendly nondiscrimination and antiharassment policies were ‘critical’ to their decision about where they decide to work.

-- an additional 38 percent of respondents reported that gay friendly policies were appreciated and contributed to their happiness.

— 74 percent reported being out at work.

— 39 percent of respondents reported experiencing some form of antigay discrimination or harassment in the workplace.

— 19 percent of respondents reported barriers in promotion because of their sexual orientation.

“This is a wake up call for employers around the country — without commitments to fairness and equality for all employees they risk losing talented employees and job candidates,” Cathcart said.

There is no federal law that bars discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation and only 18 states in addition to DC have legal protections for these employees (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin).

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