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LGBT Workers in Michigan Lack Protections against Ongoing Employment Discrimination

By The Williams Institute - 2015-02-11 - Updated: 2017-02-28

Summary

New report shows approximately LGBT workers in Michigan vulnerable to employment discrimination and statewide legal protection.

"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"

Main Document

Approximately 184,000 LGBT workers in Michigan are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent explicit statewide legal protections, according to a new report co-authored by Christy Mallory, Senior Counsel, and Brad Sears, Executive Director, at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. Currently, 33 municipalities in Michigan have ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public and private sector employment, but approximately 84% of Michigan’s workforce is not covered by these laws.

“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,” Mallory said. “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.”

The report finds evidence of ongoing discrimination against LGBT people in Michigan:

Employer policies and public opinion indicate support for non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in Michigan:

A statewide law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity would not be burdensome or costly to enforce:

Findings from the Michigan report are consistent with national data.

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