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Survey: LGBT workplace discrimination still common in Wisconsin

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that the federal sex discrimination protections in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act extend to gay and transgender employees. The court was clear that businesses cannot discriminate against those workers in matters such as hiring, firing, pay, promotions, training, scheduling and the like.

While the court's decision was enormous, a recent survey shows that much work lies ahead in the struggle to end workplace discrimination against LGBT workers in Wisconsin.

The survey by FORGE, a national transgender anti-violence organization with its headquarters in Milwaukee, that members of the state's trans community frequently face discrimination on the job, in school and in public.

According to a recent news article, "the survey gathered data from more than 450 individuals who self-identified with Wisconsin's transgender or non-binary community."

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they experience on-the-job discrimination for a wide variety of reasons:

  • 44 percent: gender identity/expression
  • 18 percent: sexual orientation
  • 11 percent: age
  • 10 percent: race

Respondents were also asked to identify their greatest needs:

  • 73 percent: affordable health care
  • 65 percent: greater legal protections
  • 62 percent: employment free of discrimination
  • 57 percent: safe, supportive schools
  • 55 percent: an end to stigmatization
  • 51: an end to violence against their community

FORGE's executive director said, "We know there is still substantial work to be done to address the discrimination, harassment, inequities, and violence that so many trans and non-binary individuals face on a daily basis."

According to the article, Wisconsin's trans and non-binary community is estimated to number between 34,800 and 69,000.

While the law now prohibits workplace discrimination against gay and trans workers, the point will be driven home by employees who stand up for their rights. Contact the Milwaukee employment law attorneys of Alan C. Olson and Associates to discuss your legal options.

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