When an employee is subjected to negative employment action, harassment, or denial of certain benefits because of their sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of someone close to them,this is known as sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Sexual orientation discrimination refers to how someone is treated simply because of their real or perceived sexual orientation: homosexual, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, or heterosexual.Discrimination based on sexual orientation can have an impact on employee’s job status, working environment, health benefits, and a variety of other concerns in the workplace.
Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal in the United Kingdom, according to section 12 of the Equality Act 2010.Employer views on sexual orientation discrimination, as well as strategies for addressing it, have changed dramatically in the previous decade.
Employers in the UK, for example, are now nearly expected to reaffirm their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Despite legislative and corporate social advances, workplace discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation continues to be a risk problem for companies.
- In UK, discrimination cases grew to roughly 500 in 2019-2020, with sexual orientation discrimination cases increasing by 166% in five years.
- Nearly one-fifth of LGBT employees (18%) have seen unfavorable comments or behavior from coworkers because of their sexual orientation.
- One in every eight trans persons (12%) has been physically assaulted by customers or coworkers because of their gender identity.
- One out of every ten black, Asian, and minority ethnic LGBT employees has been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity, compared to 3% of white LGBT employees.
- Almost one-third of non-binary people (31%) and one-fifth of trans people (18%) do not feel comfortable wearing professional attire that reflects their gender expression.
- Nearly one-third of bi people (38%) don't tell anyone at work about their sexual orientation.
Many Australians, particularly those in the workplace, have faced sex-based discrimination and harassment.Employees, employers, and the Australian economy all suffer as a result of this
- Sexual harassment has been reported by 72 % of Australians.
- 23% women and 16% men have been harassed at their workplaces.
- Almost one out of every six public employees have been sexually harassed, yet barely one-third of cases are reported.
- Only 31% of incidences of sexual harassment were reported.When asked why they hadn't reported the incident, the majority i.e., 32% indicated they weren't sure it would be investigated fairly, followed by a perception of approximately 16% that it wouldn't change the situation, 15% had a fear that it would harm their career, and 7% concerns about confidentiality.
Discrimination on basis of sexual orientation still exist in many European countries. Most of the people have faced sexual discrimination and harassment at their workplaces.
- In Europe, one in every eight people (13%) has experienced discrimination when looking for work because they are LGBT.
- In Europe, hate speech directed at sexual orientation was the most frequently reported (33.1 %), up from 15.6 % in 2019.
- 47% of LGBTI respondents are currently unemployed, with half losing their work under the state of emergency in Albania as per Aleanca's COVID-19 research.
Many LGBTQ persons continue to confront prejudice in their personal lives, the employment, and the public discourse, as well as in their ability to get crucial health care.Discrimination has a number of negative effects for their financial, mental, and physical well-being.Many LGBTQ persons say they've changed their lives to avoid discrimination and the trauma that comes with it.Younger generations report higher levels of discrimination and associated problems than older generations, with discrimination problems being particularly prominent among sexually oriented people, people of color, and people with disabilities.
- In 2019, more than one-third of LGBTQ Americans faced some form of prejudice.
- To avoid discrimination, more than half of LGBTQ Americans say they have hidden a personal connection, and one-fifth to one-third say they have changed other areas of their personal or professional lives.
In compared to many other parts of the world, (LGBT) rights in Asia are limited.In at least twenty Asian countries, same-sex sexual conduct is prohibited.While at least eight nations have passed laws protecting LGBT individuals, only Israel and Taiwan offer a broader range of LGBT rights, including the recognition of same-sex relationships.Homosexual behaviour is punishable by death in Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
- According to two out of five Asian executives, LGBT at workplaces would be a "barrier to one's professional aspirations."Only 11 percent, on the other hand, believe that being open is a benefit.
- The majority of Asian CEOs (57%) believe that today's social environment forLGBTQpersonnel will remain unchanged or worsen in the future.
- Executives from China (62%) and India (60%) are the most likely to claim their companies have had open discussions about ways to make their workplaces more welcoming to LGBTQ people.Individual support for LGBT employees is more common in India than in the United States.
Some African countries have partially decriminalized or better protected LGBTI people.However, with the noteworthy exception of South Africa, such people are still far from having full access to the same rights as other citizens across the continent.According to the ILGA, 33 of the 54 African countries recognized by the United Nations (UN) have legislation making same-sex sexual conduct illegal.In fact, just 22 of the 54 African countries have legalized homosexuality.It is punishable by imprisonment in several nations, but it is punishable by death in four countries: Mauritania, Nigeria (in states where sharia law is implemented), Somalia, and Sudan.
- In South Africa, for example, the monthly earnings of LGBT employees are on average 30% lower than other employees.
- Even worse, LGBTQ people have greater rates of suicide, rape, and assault.
- Sexual orientation equality legislation will have an immediate impact on individuals, resulting in less discrimination and more openness regarding sexual orientation.
- Such employees who spend a significant amount of time and effort in the workplace hiding their identity have higher levels of stress and anxiety, which can lead to health issues and work-related complaints.
- Sexual orientation equality at workplaces will result in better health, enhanced job satisfaction, improved relationships with coworkers and supervisors, and increased work dedication among such employees.
- It is no secret that in today's business environment, the companies that exposed discrimination causes current clients to abandon brands.
- The poor public image that prejudices generates can be prevented by implementing inclusive policies, enticing clients who want to do business with socially responsible enterprises.
- The company is more likely to increase its market share among sexually orientated customers
Actions for Government
- Should take necessary actions to reduce the sexual orientation discrimination at the workplaces.
- Should create guidelines for the employers and organizations to follow.
- Should make sure if all the organizations are following discrimination laws or policies.
- Should start with campaigns to create awareness of equality in terms of race, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation among the people.
- Should reward those organizations where there is no discrimination at workplaces in terms of age, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation etc.
Recommendations for Employers
- Employers should take all reasonable means to prevent discriminatory behavior, which would include implementing and revising anti-discrimination and harassment policies on a regular basis.
- Employers should regularly review their policies, procedures, and guidelines to see if there are any issues of sexual orientation discrimination among employees and workers.
- Employers should ensure that their board of directors and managers are not only aware of the laws and companies’ policies, but that they are also committed to adopting it.
- Employers make sure that there should not be any sexual orientation discrimination in recruitment process.