Transgender Workers in the U.S. Still Face a Bleak Landscape

Only 34 states have law protecting transgender people in the workplace, and a new map and report show just how many barriers they have to equitable employment.

By Von Diaz Nov 20, 2013

Last week the Movement Advancement Project released a comprehensive report laying out the issues lesbian, gay, bisexual, and particularly transgender people of color face disproportionately face in the workplace. More so than their white counterparts, these include barriers such as equal access to education, hiring bias and discrimination, and unequal pay, benefits, and taxation. According to the report, are more likely to have been homeless, to have children, bad credit, or have a criminal record–which often come up in background checks and disqualify people from employment. In addition, the report presents LGBT people of color as a large, diverse, and geographically dispersed population of people that are more likely to have a number of strikes against them when finding employment.

And to add to the barriers LGBT people of color disproportionately face, only 34 states in the U.S. currently have laws that protect transgender people from workplace discrimination. The National Center for Transgender Rights created the image featured in this post to show the (slow) progress of state-based transgender rights laws across the country. These resources suggest that if ENDA again fails to pass, LGBT people, particularly those who are of color, will be left particularly vulnerable to economic instability based on a hostile or discriminatory work environment.