Take a pot and throw in some of the ingredients LGBT people of color face: discrimination coupled with a lack of workplace protections, unequal job benefits and taxation, and unsafe, under-resourced U.S. schools. What do you get? One of the most disadvantaged classes of labor in the American economy.
The study, A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Colors, comes on the heels of another recently released and similar study, A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits, and More Taxes for LGBT Workers, which SFGN covered in September.
“Contrary to popular stereotypes, LGBT workers are more racially diverse than the general population, making it critical to address the unique obstacles they face,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director and CEO of NBJC. “Bias and prejudice based on race, sexual orientation, and gender identity and/or expression intersect to the detriment of LGBT workers of color.”
Here are some of the major findings from the study:
1. LGBT People are more racially and ethnically diverse than the U.S. population as a whole
“Systemic barriers and inequities in the educational system make it harder for LGBT people of color to meet workforce qualifications,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of MAP. “LGBT workers of color are also unfairly denied or lack access to job-related benefits that other workers take for granted, making it harder for these workers to earn a living and provide for their families.”
2. LGBT workers of colors confront a dual burden of social stigma and discrimination.
A few specific obstacles the research found:
3. Things can change. We just need to use some common sense.
“While there are laws in place to help protect workers from discrimination based on race and ethnicity, it is still legal to fire or refuse to hire someone on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in the majority of states,” said Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president of External Affairs at CAP. “Addressing this gap in federal law is one more step forward in the march for equality and justice for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”
Here are a few things that can be done:
“America has passed numerous laws and policies based on an understanding that protecting the interests of workers and their families is good for the economy and good for the country,” said Jeff Krehely, vice president and chief foundation officer at the HRC. “It is time for those protections to extend to LGBT workers of color.”