Transgender workers face discrimination on the job

While there has been an increasing amount of media attention and broader social acceptance for transgender people in Arizona and across the country, workplace discrimination continues to be a significant concern. A number of companies have announced initiatives that seek to improve trans inclusivity on the job, but only 9 percent of people over age 45 say that they know or have worked with a transgender person. The unemployment rate of transgender people is three times the overall unemployment rate across the country.

One Stanford University study inquired into the situation of trans people in the workplace to discover how workplace discrimination had affected their employment. The researchers closely investigated the experiences of 25 transgender participants; their results indicated that companies continue to push trans employees out of their jobs and dissuade many trans workers from coming out to their fellow employees. In addition, going through transition at work can be particularly stressful and emotionally draining.

In the study, trans people reported difficulties in dealing with the hiring process, especially when third-party recruiters were involved. They said that they were seen as troublesome or questionable candidates rather than being treated equally to non-trans candidates. In addition, transgender workers noted an excessive amount of attention to their clothing and gender presentation in the workplace. These dynamics can force trans people out of work and put them at risk for poverty and lack of healthcare access.

Transgender workers may face discrimination on the job, and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission often sees this as a form of illegal discrimination. Workers who were targeted for harassment, have faced retaliation or have lost their jobs due to their gender identity may work with an employment lawyer to seek justice.

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