A shocking new study finds that job applicants who have on their résumés hints of being LGBT are 23 percent less-likely to be contacted for an interview.
"Jennifer" and "Michelle" filled out applications for a job as an administrative assistant at ExxonMobil. The applications show they attended the same high school and college but "Jennifer" had better grades in both schools and a stronger work history. ExxonMobil calls "Michelle" for an interview -- twice. She does not respond. They follow up with an email, stating they'll hold the position for her. She does not respond. They never call "Jennifer" and they hired someone else.
The Equal Rights Center and Freedom to Work, which together conducted the study of 100 pairs of fictional job applicants, like "Michelle" and "Jennifer," add that "Jennifer" indicated she had done LGBT activism volunteer work and they believe that's why she never even got an interview -- despite being clearly more qualified.
"Despite significant progress in advancing civil rights and equality, employment discrimination remains a persistent barrier for the LGBT community," said ERC Executive Director Melvina Ford says, according to the Huffington Post. "The results of this investigation show that LGBT applicants face discrimination when seeking employment with federal contractors, even when compared with less-qualified candidates."
In 2013, Freedom to Work filed a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission arguing that ExxonMobil violated a state law prohibiting LGBT discrimination.
"Taxpayers should never have to subsidize the kind of anti-LGBT discrimination that was uncovered during this year-long study of contractors with inadequate LGBT workplace protections," said Tico Almeida, founder and president of Freedom to Work. "President Obama’s upcoming executive order will send a strong message that government contracts should be staffed with the highest qualified job candidates, and nobody should ever lose out on a career opportunity just because of who they are or whom they love."
In addition to ExxonMobil, whose shareholders voted 17 times in a row to deny LGBT employees workplace protections that are almost standard in similar top corporations across the nation, the seven other corporations studies are AmerisourceBergen Corp., the Babcock & Wilcox Co., Fluor Corp., General Electric Co., L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., Supreme Group Holding SARL, and URS Corp.
The U.S. Senate passed ENDA last year, but Speaker John Boehner has said he doesn't believe anti-LGBT discrimination even exists, he believes -- wrongly, like the majority of Americans -- that LGBT people already are protected against anti-LGBT discrimination, and refuses to bring ENDA to the floor for a vote.
President Barack Obama as recently as yesterday has stated he will sign an executive order banning anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors and their employees. Yesterday, in a surprise move, the President added he will sign a separate executive order prohibiting gender identity discrimination by federal contractors.
Those are significant advances and he rightly received applause yesterday when he made the announcement.
But if you aren't even called in for a job interview, what are the chances you're going to think it's discrimination?
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