July 20, 2011 — On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed J. Paul Oetken for a federal judgeship in New York City, making him the first openly gay man to serve on the federal bench. While his confirmation is a milestone and a step in the right direction, it’s important to think bigger than firsts.
The LGBT community still faces enormous workplace hurdles in the United States, which are outlined in today’s Take 5:
1) Almost two-fifths (39%) of lesbian and gay adults in America’s workplaces report facing some form of hostility or harassment on the job, while 11% experienced very frequent or frequent harassment or discrimination.
2) Gay men earn 10% to 32% less than heterosexual people with the same job and personal characteristics.
3) Ninety percent of transgender individuals experienced harassment or mistreatment on the job, or took steps to avoid it, while 47% were fired, not hired, or denied a job promotion because they were transgender/gender non-conforming.
4) Only 310 Fortune 1000 companies have non-discrimination policies that include gender identity.
5) In 34 states, it is legal for LGBT employees to be fired simply because their employers discover, and disapprove of, their sexual orientation.