LOS ANGELES Approximately 133,000 LGBT workers in Indiana are vulnerable to employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to a new report co-authored by Christy Mallory, State & Local Policy Director, and Brad Sears, David Sanders Distinguished Scholar, at the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute. Only 36% of Indiana's workforce is covered by local non-discrimination laws or executive orders that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The state's non-discrimination law does not include these characteristics.
"A statewide law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would bring new protections to thousands of workers without burdening courts and agencies," said Christy Mallory, senior counsel at the Williams Institute. "Most likely, the cost of handling complaints filed under the law could be absorbed into the existing enforcement system with no need for additional staff or resources."
Employment discrimination against LGBT people in Indiana has been documented in a number of sources:
*In response to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 75 percent of respondents from Indiana reported experiencing harassment or mistreatment at work, 30 percent reported losing a job, 21 percent reported being denied a promotion, and 48 percent reported not being hired because of their gender identity or expression at some point in their lives.
*Several recent instances of employment discrimination against LGBT people in Indiana have been documented in court cases and administrative complaints, including reports from public and private sector workers.
*Census data show that in Indiana, the median income of men in same-sex couples is 34 percent lower than that of men married to different-sex partners.
*Aggregated data from two large public opinion polls found that 79 percent of Indiana residents think that LGBT people experience a moderate amount to a lot of discrimination in the state.
Employer policies and public opinion indicate support for non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in Indiana:
*Of the seven Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered in Indiana, six include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. Five of those companies also include gender identity in their non-discrimination policies. Additionally, several of Indiana's largest universities prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity including Indiana University, Purdue University, Indiana State University, and Ball State University.
*Four public opinion polls of Indiana residents conducted in 2015 and 2016 found that 54 percent to 70 percent of respondents supported adding protections for LGBT people to the state's non-discrimination law.
*In response to a national poll conducted in 2011, 73 percent of those polled in Indiana said that Congress should pass a federal law to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
A statewide law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would not be burdensome or costly to enforce:
*The law would result in approximately 61 additional complaints being filed each year with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.
*The anticipated new complaints could most likely be absorbed into the existing system with no need for additional staff and negligible costs.
This report completes a series of state-level reports on employment discrimination against LGBT workers in the 28 states that lack protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in state law. To access reports for other states, please visit the Williams Institute's State Resource Map at the link: williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/ ..