Employment Discrimination against Transgender Residents Costs the State of Florida

For Immediate Distribution
April 23, 2015

Lauren Jow, jow@law.ucla.edu, 310-206-0314

LOS ANGELES — The State of Florida spends more than a half million dollars each year as the result of employment discrimination against transgender residents, according to a new report co-authored by Taylor N.T. Brown, policy analyst, and Jody L. Herman, scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

“The state can incur a variety of costs when transgender individuals experience employment discrimination,” Brown said. “This study estimates that job loss due to discrimination costs the state about $570,000 annually in state Medicaid expenditures alone, as transgender individuals who lose their jobs may need to enroll in Medicaid for health care coverage.

Key findings of the report include:

• Currently, 10 counties and 14 cities in Florida have ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in public and private sector employment, but nearly 22,000 transgender adult residents are not covered by these laws.

• Transgender residents in Florida report experiencing employment discrimination and mistreatment in the workplace.  Among respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey from Florida, 56 percent reported experiencing at least one adverse action in employment, such as being denied a job, fired or denied a promotion because of their gender identity.

• NTDS respondents who reported losing a job because of discrimination were more likely to have health care coverage through Medicaid than those who had not lost a job because of discrimination.

• This type of discrimination against transgender adults in Florida costs the state an estimated $570,000 annually in state Medicaid expenditures alone.

“Discrimination against transgender adults in Florida is widespread, and it costs the state,” Brown said. “Reducing or eliminating employment discrimination against transgender residents is a potential cost-saving measure for the State of Florida.”

Click here for the full report.