The LGBTQ community has come a long way when it comes to legal rights and social acceptance. However, they have a long way to go when it comes to catching up with cisgender heterosexuals. The plight of the LGBTQ is especially troubling for women and minorities, who already face high risks of discrimination at work.
NBC News reported in 2019 that there are still 26 states in America where it is legal to bar LGBTQ workers or fire someone after their sexual orientation is discovered. In these states, there are no laws in place that prevent employers from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation. What is perhaps more troubling is that 48% of LGBTQ people live in these jurisdictions.
Pensylvania is not one of those 26 states, but it does not belong to the small group of states that have rigid laws against LGBTQ discrimination either. Instead, USA Today states that Pennsylvania interprets “sex discrimination” as also including discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Pennsylvania is the only state in the North East that takes this more relaxed approach. All states east of Pennsylvania explicitly ban sexual discrimination.
The good news is that even in states with no protections available, cities and counties stepped up to create their own laws. One example of this is Florida. Here, 60% of people live in a county or state that have some protections in place for the LGBTQ at work. In total, roughly 280 jurisdictions across America ban sexual discrimination.
Some people believe that more jurisdictions will come onboard in the next few years. However, that might strongly depend on what political and personal values make it to center stage in the upcoming elections.