Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in South Carolina

SC-Census-MapBy Christy Mallory, Gregory K. Davis, Amira Hasenbush
February 2014

Approximately 66,000 LGBT workers in South Carolina are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state legal protections. Four localities in South Carolina prohibit public sector employment discrimination against LGBT people.  Only 18% of the state’s labor force works in those localities, and only a small proportion of those workers are employed by their local governments. Currently none of South Carolina’s LGBT-inclusive local ordinances prohibit discrimination in private employment.

Findings from the South Carolina report are consistent with national data. A 2013 Pew Research Center survey found that 21 percent of LGBT respondents had been treated unfairly by an employer in hiring, pay, or promotions. In 2010, 78 percent of respondents to the largest national survey of transgender people to date reported having experienced harassment or mistreatment at work, and 47 percent reported having been discriminated against in hiring, promotion, or job retention because of their gender identity.

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