Effect of State Policy on Charges Filed at the EEOC

By Amanda K. Baumle, M. V. Lee Badgett, and Steven Boutcher

Since 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has allowed workers to file sex discrimination charges that allege sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination. A new study analyzed more than 9,000 of these charges made between 2012 and 2016 and found about half of them included claims of discriminatory terminations and harassment. African American workers and men had particularly high rates of filing sexual orientation charges. In contrast, women and White workers had high filing rates for gender identity. Many of these charges were filed against employers in low wage industries, such as the retail sector and the food services industry. While there was a nationwide increase in LGBT people filing charges following the EEOC’s policy change, the greatest spike was seen in states without laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Read the report.

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