Evidence of Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: An Analysis of Complaints Filed with State Enforcement Agencies

By Christy Mallory and Brad Sears
October 2015

LGBT people use sexual orientation and gender identity employment non-discrimination laws as frequently as people of color and women use race and sex non-discrimination laws. This study examines complaints filed based on sexual orientation or gender identity, race, and sex and adjusts them by the number of people in the workforce most likely to experience each type of discrimination – LGBT people, people of color and women. Data on discrimination complaints were requested from the 22 states that have state-level laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Fourteen states responded to the request, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. The study’s findings are consistent with those of two prior studies that applied the same methodology to older data.

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