Are You (& Your Boss) Doing These 11 Things To Support LGBT Employees?

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It’s 2017, and yet women are still fighting for equality. Data suggests it will take until 2152 to close the gender wage gap, but it shouldn’t take a century to get what we want. We want more, and Refinery29 is here to help — because 135 years is too long to wait for what we deserve today.
We're living in a confusing time for LGBT people. On one hand, we can get married in all 50 states and D.C. (Yay!) But on the other hand, it’s still legal to discriminate against our community in areas such as the workplace.
It's 2017, and in 28 states, a person can still be fired for being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. For those of us who are transgender, our gender identity could get us fired in 30 states. There is no federal law banning employment discrimination, even though efforts are being made to protect the LGBT community under the Equality Act, a bill that was just re-introduced to Congress and counts with the bipartisan support of 241 lawmakers.
But as long as there aren't federal workplace protections in place for LGBT people, we will continue to see a negative impact. In fact, it can be as simple as this: At the moment, depending on where you live, you could easily lose your job just for putting a wedding photo up at work.
In the past two decades, we’ve seen incredible advances in terms of workplace equality, but under the Trump administration, there are new fears that LGBT people could see this progress recede. A study by the Center for American Progress found that 25.2% of LGBT respondents experienced discrimination in the past year because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Out of the respondents who said they were discriminated against, 52.8% said the experience negatively impacted their work environment.
The good news is that despite these challenges, more and more employers are forging ahead to make their companies welcoming to LGBT people, even without state and federal laws in place to support equality.
One obvious way to do that is with a company-wide non-discrimination policy that says that no one will be hired, fired, promoted, or retained on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. (After all, most companies have similar policies for race, gender, and ability-based discrimination.) At the moment, the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies have already done this.
But why stop there? Isn’t it time we asked for more at work? Ahead, we list 11 things you (and your boss) can do to FULLY welcome LGBT people into the workplace.
Selisse Berry is the CEO and founder of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.

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