Significant proportions of Americans believe that LGBTQ people are treated worse than non-LGBTQ people at work and school, and by law enforcement and healthcare providers, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

Using data from a survey by Ipsos in collaboration with Thomson Reuters and the Williams Institute, researchers find an estimated 6% of employees are LGBT. More than 45% of all employees (both LGBT and non-LGBT) report hearing anti-LGBT remarks in the workplace and almost one in four (24%) employees report that LGBTQ people are treated unfairly in the workplace.

The survey examined perceptions of LGBTQ discrimination in various settings among employees who work in the private sector and those who work at all levels of government. The study also assessed the attitudes of all Americans toward non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. Approximately one-third of all Americans (35%) think that LGBTQ people are treated worse than non-LGBTQ people in schools and one-quarter believe LGBTQ people are treated worse by law enforcement.

“Many employees report hearing anti-LGBT remarks at work and say that their LGBTQ co-workers face unfair treatment,” said lead author Brad Sears, Founding Executive Director at the Williams Institute. “Perceptions of discrimination against LGBTQ people are consistent across private and public sector workforces.”

KEY FINDINGS 

The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.