With a rampant increase in anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation throughout the United States, now more than ever it is imperative that we support and protect all members of the LGBTQIA+ community, both in the workplace and beyond. Last week, Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization asserted a perspective that could have devastating implications for LGBTQIA+ rights. Indeed, Thomas urged the court to reconsider other landmark civil rights cases of the past half century, including Obergefell v. Hodgess, which legalized marriage equality. It is astounding that just two years after the landmark victory of Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, which ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity expression, we find ourselves in fear of the potential regression of LGBTQIA+ rights.
Considering these disturbing events, Filippatos PLLC believes it is more important now than ever before to preserve the rights of LGBTQIA+ employees. In a new survey of 2,000 LGBTQIA+ employees conducted by LinkedIn, three in four people said it was important that they work in an environment in which they feel comfortable expressing their identity, and 65% said they would leave their current job if they felt they were unable to do so. Additionally, 36% of respondents said that if their employer failed to speak out against discrimination, they would resign.
Furthermore, an early 2022 study by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation found that LGBTQIA+ employees earn about 90 cents for every dollar earned by the average heterosexual employee. This gap becomes even more stark when considering LGBTQIA+ people of color, as well as transgender women and men, and non-binary people. For example, Indigenous LGBTQIA+ employees earn only 70 cents for every dollar earned by the average worker. These are precisely the dynamics we strive to change through rigorous advocacy of all LGBTQIA+ people in the workplace.
Given the current situation, it is vital that employers take active steps to ensure their employees feel both safe and valued in the workplace. For example, there must be strong written policies given to all employees, as well as an inclusive and open environment in which these policies can be discussed. Leadership must be proactively in tune with the dynamics at play in their workplace, and handle any and all situations of discrimination in a timely and lawful manner. For more information on LGBTQIA+ rights in the workplace, visit our page on LGBTQIA+ Employment Discrimination.
Filippatos PLLC proudly embraces and stands in solidarity with all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We believe that all people hold the right to exist freely and safely as their authentic selves, no matter who they love or how they express their gender, and will continue to fiercely protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ people in the workplace.
Filippatos PLLC honors and promotes LGBTQIA+ pride and visibility yearround, and believes that in our current moment it is imperative to get involved in concrete ways. This year, Filippatos PLLC became a proud sponsor of two-year-old annual pride bash event in South Florida, Pride on the Block. Conceived in March 2020, Pride on the Block raises funds for Transpire Help, a local nonprofit doing essential work to serve the LGBTQIA+ community in South Florida (Palm Beach County), including by connecting LGBTQIA+ people to the care and resources they need for a healthy and fulfilling life, such as addiction treatment, healthcare, medication, housing, and employment assistance. If you would like to make a donation today, please visit: https://prideontheblock.com/become-a-sponsor/ .
At Filippatos PLLC, we wave our Pride flag high and proud–we continue to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Pride, even beyond Pride month. We strive for a world wherein each and every person is safe and supported in their working environment (and beyond); we will be here fighting to preserve your rights and uplift your identity each and every day of the year. Even in the face of injustice, we stay proud.
(Sources: Bloomberg, BBC, Pride on the Block, Time)