Unfortunately, harassment and discrimination in the workplace are nothing new in Texas and across the nation. However, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights wants employers to take a more active role in policing harassment and discrimination, especially when aimed at transgendered individuals. The Commission issued a report on workplace discrimination claiming that 90 percent of all transgendered employees in the United States have faced some form of workplace harassment or discrimination due to their status.
The report goes on to push for stronger regulations and legislation aimed at ending discrimination and harassment of transgendered individuals in the workplace. This call to action is based on the report’s assertions that transgendered individuals often find themselves receiving lower wages and fewer promotions when compared to non-transgendered counterparts.
In addition, the report states that 70 percent of transgendered workers in the United States have felt the need to conceal their identities in order to avoid workplace discrimination. This, in turn, may place pressure on quality employees to quit their positions, acting almost as a subtle form of discrimination in and of itself.
As a result of the Commission’s report, and in response to growing acceptance of transgendered individuals in society, employers need to understand that they walk a fine line. Failing to act when discrimination is taking place against transgendered employees or others could have long-term negative consequences, including litigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also reported that hate crime statistics are on the rise; employers who knowingly and actively engage in discrimination may find themselves facing more than just civil matters.
Employees who feel that they have suffered as the result of workplace discrimination may wish to contact an attorney in order to receive recourse. This is an especially important step in cases where a transgendered employee has already followed an employer’s proper protocols for reporting discrimination in the workplace and has not received fair treatment.