Media Advisory: Williams Institute Factsheet to Assist with Reporting on Trump Administration’s Statement on Executive Order 13672

Media Advisory: January 31, 2017

Media Contact: Noel Alumit,
alumit@law.ucla.edu
Office: 310-794-2332

Williams Institute Factsheet to Assist with Reporting on Trump Administration’s Statement on Executive Order 13672

Today, President Trump issued a statement that he will not repeal Executive Order 13672 which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against their employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  However, the statement does not say that the Administration will not take other actions to limit legal protections for LGBT people, including by creating exemptions to current civil rights protections based on religion or moral belief.

Former President Obama issued Executive Order 13672 in July 2014, amending a previous executive order, Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on race, sex, religion, and national origin.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law is providing this fact sheet to assist with reporting on any actions the Trump Administration may take that affect the scope and reach of Executive Order 13672.  Williams Institute scholars are available to provide comments and analysis.

Executive Order 13672 protects 28 million workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Executive Order 13672 applies to over 20 percent of the U.S. workforce.
  • Executive Order 13672 applies to all fifty states, as employers, and to private contractors in every state.
  • Before Executive Order 13672 was issued, 86 percent of the top 50 federal contractors had policies protecting workers from sexual orientation discrimination, and 6 percent had policies protecting employees from gender identity discrimination.  Several high profile companies, including ExxonMobile, added sexual orientation and gender identity to their non-discrimination policies shortly after the order was signed.
  • Less than 50 percent of workers live in a state where they are covered by a state law that explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  Twenty-eight states do not have a state law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 30 states do not have a law prohibiting employment discrimination based on gender identity.
  • 11 million workers, including 400,000 LGBT workers, gained protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as a result of Executive Order 13672.  Those 11 million workers were not covered by a state law or corporate policy that prohibited discrimination against LGBT workers before the order was issued.

LGBT non-discrimination protections benefit businesses, and economic benefits for federal contractors are passed along to the federal government and tax payers

  • The majority of the top 50 federal government contractors and the top 50 Fortune 500 companies have specifically linked internal LGBT non-discrimination policies to improving their bottom line.
  • The companies cited several economic benefits that result from LGBT non-discrimination policies including: recruiting and retaining the best talent; generating the best ideas and innovations by drawing on a diverse workforce; increasing productivity by making workers feel valued and comfortable; and attracting and better serving a diverse customer base through a diverse workforce.
  • Academic research has also linked LGBT non-discrimination policies to greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, increased job satisfaction, and improved health outcomes among LGBT employees.

Discrimination against LGBT workers in the U.S. persists.

  • A 2013 survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that 21 percent of LGBT respondents reported having been treated unfairly by an employer in hiring, pay, or promotions because of their sexual orientation at some point in their lives; and 5 percent reported that they had been treated unfairly by an employer in the past year.
  • The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 27 percent of respondents who were employed in the past year reported being fired, denied a promotion, or not being hired because of their gender identity or expression.  Fifteen percent of respondents who were employed in the past year reported being verbally, physically, or sexually harassed at work because of their gender identity or expression.
  • Prior studies show that between 15 and 43 percent of LGBT people have experienced some form of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.  Specifically, 8 to 17 percent of LGBT workers report being passed over for a job or fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 10 to 28 percent received a negative performance evaluation or were passed over for a promotion because they were LGBT; and 7 to 41 percent of LGBT workers encountered harassment, abuse, or anti-gay vandalism on the job.

Discrimination against LGBT workers negatively affects their health and the economic stability of their families.

1. Discrimination can contribute to health disparities for LGBT people:

  • Research has linked health disparities experienced by LGBT people to stigma and discrimination.  Research also suggests that stigmatizing campaigns around the passage of anti-LGBT policies, or negative media messaging that draws attention to unsupportive social climates, may exacerbate these disparities.
  • LGBT people experience disparities on a range of health outcomes, and health-related risk factors, compared to their non-LGBT counterparts.  Research shows that LGB people are more likely to experience mood and anxiety disorders, attempt suicide, and engage in self-harm than non-LGB people.
  • Research indicates that rates of depression, anxiety disorders, and attempted suicide are also elevated among transgender people.
  • In addition, LGBT people are more likely to report tobacco use, drug use, and alcohol disorders than their non-LGB counterparts.

2. Discrimination can impose financial hardships on LGBT people and their families:

  • Gay men earn 11-16 percent less than heterosexual men with the same qualifications.
  • LGBT people are more likely to have household incomes below $24,000 than non-LGBT people (32 percent v. 24 percent).
  • LGBT people are more likely to report not having enough money for health care than non-LGBT people (26 percent v. 18 percent).
  • More than 1 in 4 LGBT adults (27 percent) report not having enough money for food in the past year; and 46 percent of LGB adults aged 18-44 who are raising children received food stamps in the past year.
  • Lesbian couples experience higher poverty rates than different-sex couples: 7.6 percent of lesbian couples are in poverty, compared to 5.7 percent of married different-sex couples.
  • Over 1 in 5 of children of same-sex couples are in poverty, compared to 12.1 percent of children of married different-sex couples.
  • African American same-sex couples have poverty rates more twice that of married different-sex African American couples.
  • The 2016 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 29 percent of respondents were living at or near the federal poverty line, twice the rate of poverty in the general population (14 percent).

Discrimination has a negative impact on governments and the economy.

  • To the extent that discrimination negatively impacts health, policies that reduce discrimination could improve health outcomes for LGBT people.
  • Research shows that better health among workers benefits governments and the economy by increasing productivity and reducing health care costs.
  • Employment discrimination can lead to hardships for individuals including lower earnings, underemployment or unemployment, which in turn can lead to increased reliance on public benefits, such as Medicaid and TANF.
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