This weeks trending headlines
Oct. 15, 2019

Despite efforts, workplace discrimination refuses to drop.

Discrimination runs rampant in U.S. corporations and no amount of corporate policy seems to be having the slightest impact in slowing it down. According to the Center for Public Integrity, 93 percent of the one million cased filed for discrimination in the workplace against major U.S. major companies were dismissed from 2000-2018.

Equally as startling is that 82 percent of workers did not receive monetary or any other form of relief after blowing the whistle on improper and often illegal behavior by executives in the workforce. In as little as two percent of the cases, the claimant actually won the case, and still received nothing as a result.

Sexual and racial discrimination were the most likely forms to be labeled offensive enough to bring to the attention of corporate officials, followed by age discrimination, disability discrimination, pregnancy, religious discrimination, and retaliation for speaking out against company policy.

The main reason cited for the low conviction rate is the lack of resources at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission whose budget has been cut under the Trump administration. Contrary to popular belief, the number of discrimination lawsuits has remained relatively stable for the past 20 years despite an increasing effort to laws and company efforts to equalize the workplace and make it worker-friendly.

Justice Gorsuch: Swing vote in LGBTQ discrimination cases

By Ian Millhiser

Justice Neil Gorsuch, the archconservative Trump appointee, may end up deciding the future of LGBTQ rights in the workplace.

At least, that was the impression that emerged after arguments in three cases the Supreme Court heard on Tuesday, where Gorsuch appeared to be the swing vote. Two of those cases, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, ask whether a worker can be fired for their sexual orientation. The third, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, asks whether a worker can be fired because of their gender identity.

The central tension in these three cases arises from the fact that the text of a federal civil rights law — Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — is written expansively, so expansively that even Gorsuch seemed to acknowledge at some points during Tuesday’s oral argument that the text of the law favors a victory for the gay and trans plaintiffs.

Gorsuch, for his part, has longed claimed to be a “textualist” — meaning that he believes that the meaning of the law should turn on its words and not on what Congress thought it was doing. Tuesday’s arguments suggest that he may be an honest textualist in this case, although it is far from certain how he will vote.


11 million LGBTQ voters and 57 million Equality voters hold key to 2020 Presidential elections

By Alphonso David

For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people and our allies, the 2020 presidential election will be the most important election of our lives.

Over the last two years, the Trump administration has rescinded key protections for transgender students, appointed two new anti-equality justices to the US Supreme Court, banned transgender troops from serving openly in the military, and repeatedly pushed policies that would open the door to discrimination against LGBTQ people in healthcare, housing, public accommodations and other aspects of life under the guise of “religious liberty.”

Despite campaigning on a promise to be a “real friend” to the LGBTQ community, Donald Trump has been outspoken about his opposition to bipartisan federal civil rights legislation — the Equality Act — which overwhelmingly passed through the US House of Representatives this year and, if signed into law, would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Today, there are 11 million LGBTQ voters estimated nationwide who will play a decisive role in the upcoming elections. We have also identified 57 million “Equality Voters” — friends, family members and other allies who prioritize LGBTQ-inclusive policies when deciding which candidates to support.

The rising Equality Vote has the potential to put LGBTQ issues at the center of electoral decision-making and activism — both in 2020 and beyond.


One in five LGBT youth identify as something other than lesbian, gay or bi

By Lily Wakefield

A fifth of LGBT+ youth identify their orientation as something other than lesbian, gay or bisexual, as more young people embrace labels that fall outside of the binary.

The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2019 had more than 34,000 respondents, all between the ages of 13 and 24.

It showed that while 45 percent of LGBT+ youth identify as gay or lesbian, and 33 percent identify as bisexual, 22 percent said they were “something else”.

Language around sexual orientation is constantly evolving, and the survey states that participants identified with more than 100 orientations.

Some of the labels used by young people surveyed include ace spectrum, graysexual, gynedemisexual and abrosexual. 

Many also split how they identify their orientation between romantic attraction and sexual attraction, for example, a person could identify as biromantic homosexual, meaning they are romantically attracted to two genders but only sexually attracted to one.

Examples of this recorded in the survey included panromantic asexual and greyromantic demisexual. 

Dr. Amy Green, director of research at The Trevor Project, told Bustle: “The Trevor Project often hears from young people who identify outside of the sexual orientation labels of gay, lesbian, or bisexual and many times they are able to articulate the difference between their emotional, romantic, and sexual attractions to others.”


Supreme Court weighs whether LGBTQ workers are protected from discrimination

By Richard Hack

This past Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States opened its docket for the 2019-2020 year with major cases focused on the legality of discrimination against gay and lesbians in the workplace. The outcome of these cases will ultimately determine the job security of some 8 million U.S. workers–1 million transexual workers and 7.1 million gays and lesbians.

According to the Williams Institute, there are currently 22 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have statutes protecting workers based on sexual orientation. Twenty-one states plus DC have statutes protecting workers from discrimination based on gender identity.

A decision is expected to be announced in June 2020.

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