Trump | LGBT+ workplace discrimination could become legal in US

LGBT+ workplace discrimination could become legal in US

On June 26 2016, the US Supreme Court passed legislation that legalised same-sex marriage across the country after confirming that refusing to do so would be in violation of the US constitution.

The landmark move was celebrated across the nation; even the iconic White House, in which the President resides whilst in term, was clad in the rainbow flag of the LGBT+ community to signify its jubilation over the ruling.

Little more than four years later, the US is in the process of reversing legislation that protects firing an employee simply due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Trump Administration, now infamous for its controversial comments about homosexuality and the LGBT+ community, urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to rule that LGBT+ people could be fired based on their admission of belonging to this group.

The move comes as part of a two-year campaign on behalf of the current President’s administration to reverse the protections that this community secured under President Obama. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against workers ‘because of sex,’ yet the administration argued that these rules don’t ban discrimination against LGBT+ or transgender workers.

The administration argued that "Title VII’s protections apply fully to transgender individuals" when it comes to sex discrimination — women being treated worse than men, or vice versa — but "treating a transgender person less favourably than a non-transgender person" is not part of the law's protections.

The issue is touted to become a key talking point before the 2020 presidential election, on which Trump has vowed to re-stand, yet it may not be as popular as his administration believes; PRRI research suggested that 69% of Americans and 56% of Republicans favour laws that defend the LGBT+ community.

Diversity in HR

With current estimates suggesting that nine million individuals in the UK identify as LGBT+, it is imperative that HR has policies in place to include, support, and celebrate their lives, identity and work-life contributions – but what policies work best? 

Karen Thomson, Diversity & Inclusion Lead at Fujitsu, UK&I told HR Grapevine that HR policies should reflect an organisation’s culture and empower talent. “You need to truly understand LGBT+ experiences within your organisation to make sure your policies are creating an inclusive LGBT+ workplace.

From our magazine

“When looking at your policies think about the language you are using. By reviewing your policies through an LGBT+ lens you can ensure that they are relevant to LGBT+ employees. For example, would same-sex parents feel that your Maternity and Paternity Policies include them? By making policies inclusive you signal to LGBT+ employees that they are an integral part of your thought process when creating policies.

“HR should also be supporting employees going through specific LGBT+ life events, such as coming out or transitioning in the workplace. By highlighting relevant guidance and providing support to employees and managers, HR will help LGBT+ employees feel welcome, comfortable and safe being completely who they are at work.”

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Comments (1)

  • Boris
    Wed, 9 Oct 2019 1:47pm BST
    I cannot believe that Trump and his cronies are so narrow minded that they think that this will stand. It's disgusting that in today's day and age there are still those who think it's okay to treat LGBTQI individuals differently simply because of their sexual orientation. Does this change mean that you can fire straight people because they're straight?
    I really hope that Trump doesn't get a second term, my hope is that American's can now see the damage he's doing to their country and reputation. I think that they should instigate rules that only senators can become President, at least that way the public have an idea of what that person is like in a powerful position, instead of simply making it all about those individuals who can afford to stand. When it's all about money it's bound to attract the wrong people, and they don't get much worse than their current so called president. He's sexist, racist and generally never happier than when he's the centre of attention, not the type of person to give that much power to.

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