Abstract: Workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people is a significant and well-documented social welfare problem. The Williams Institute estimates that between 16 to 68% of LGB people report experiencing various types of employment discrimination (Badgett, Lau, Sears, & Ho, 2007). Because there are no universal protections for LGB workers in the United States in some jurisdictions they can be arbitrarily fired without recourse due to their sexual orientation identity. Even greater disparities are found in LGB communities of color and other socially marginalized identities (Appleby, 2001; Krieger, Williams, & Moss, 1997; McDermott, 2006; Oldfield, Candler, & Johnson, 2006).
Workplace discrimination against LGB workers affects the job-related affective well-being of both LGB and non-LGB workers alike; yet very little is known about the relationship between organizational tolerance for LGB workplace discrimination and the well-being of non-LGB, heterosexually-identified workers. Even less is known about the relationship between workplace discrimination against LGB workers and the job related affective well-being of non-LGB, heterosexual workers in the Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, New York regions.
During this interactive seminar, Dr. Gates will present the results of a cross-sectional study about perceptions of organizational tolerance for heterosexism among heterosexual workers in Western New York, and the relationship of organizational tolerance for heterosexism and workplace well being. Additionally, he will engage the audience in a larger discussion about workplace heterosexism and LGB workplace discrimination, including why workplace heterosexism matters from a human rights perspective.
Trevor G. Gates is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at The College at Brockport. Dr. Gates is a clinical social worker and substance abuse counselor with more than 10 years of experience in Chicago and Dallas in community-based and hospital settings. His clinical specialty is practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. His current research focuses on social justice issues with LGBT communities, organizational behavior, and strengths-based practices. He is currently doing research on the impact of workplace stigma-related experiences on LGBT people and the correlation of organizational tolerance for heterosexism and workplace wellness.