Administrative Impact of Adding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Texas’s Employment Non-Discrimination Law
By Christy Mallory & M.V. Lee Badgett
More than eight million people in the American workforce identify as LGBT. Research shows the existence of widespread and continuing discrimination against LGBT workers across the U.S. Texas law does not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Based on data from the U.S. Census, we estimate that approximately 431,095 LGBT workers live in Texas. Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s non-discrimination law would offer protection to these workers, and would have a minimal impact on state agencies and the state budget. We estimate that amending Texas’s non-discrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity would result in an increase of approximately 203 additional administrative complaints per year. This estimate was reached by applying the national rate of complaint filings based on sexual orientation, 4.7 per every 10,000 LGBT workers, to the underlying LGBT population in Texas. The cost of enforcing the additional 203 complaints would be low; an estimated $267,500 – $334,400 in the first year and $248,600 – $310,800 each subsequent year.