There has been a lot of advancement in LGBT rights in New York and across the country. However, the results of a new study show that there is still discrimination against the LGBT community in the business world.
The study was conducted by StartOut, a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs in the LGBT community. According to the StartOut vice chair, many LGBT entrepreneurs choose to conceal their sexual identity from potential investors when fundraising. More than 10 percent of those surveyed admitted that they feared that identifying as LGBT could hurt their chances when seeking funds for their business startups. The study also found that younger LGBT individuals in business were more likely to conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity than their older counterparts. The director of StartOut suggested that this may be because older members of the LGBT community have more job security and are less fearful of the harm that being outed might do to their career.
Currently, there are 28 states that have no legal protection for workers who are fired from their jobs for identifying as LGBT. In some other states, discrimination based on sexual orientation is against the law, but there is no legal ban on discrimination based on gender identity. The researchers at StartOut say that part of the problem is that LGBT individuals are not included in the federal government’s definition of underrepresented minorities. At the same time, people who privately identify as LGBT are not required to inform their employers of their sexuality. StartOut says that including LGBT community members in programs that focus on diversity would be a step toward ending discrimination.
Anti-discrimination law recognizes certain classes that are protected against discrimination. Depending on local or state legislation, these laws may or may not include LGBT individuals and. When someone believes they have been discriminated against at work, they could seek the counsel of an attorney to help them understand the law and their legal rights.