For Immediate Release
Alexis Squire, Equal Rights Center, 202-370-3209
NEW STUDY’S FINDINGS DEMONSTRATE THE URGENT NEED FOR OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE ORDER: LGBT WORKERS ARE 23% LESS LIKELY TO RECEIVE A CALL-BACK WHEN APPLYING TO WORK FOR FEDERAL CONTRACTORS
WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014—As the White House announced that President Barrack Obama plans to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, two non-profits have released a new report that sheds light on the discrimination that prospective LGBT employees face when applying to work for federal contractors.
The report, co-authored by the Equal Rights Center (ERC)—a national non-profit civil rights organization with more than 30 years of civil rights testing experience—and Freedom to Work—a national organization committed to banning workplace harassment and career discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender Americans—found that when applying to work for federal contractors, LGBT applicants were 23 percent less likely to receive a call-back than their non-LGBT counterpart, even when the LGBT applicant was more qualified than the non-LGBT applicant.
“Despite significant progress in advancing civil rights and equality, employment discrimination remains a persistent barrier for the LGBT community,” said Melvina Ford, executive director of the ERC. “The results of this investigation show that LGBT applicants face discrimination when seeking employment with federal contractors, even when compared with less-qualified candidates.”
Eight federal contractors were selected for testing: AmerisourceBergen Corp, The Babcock & Wilcox Co., ExxonMobil, Fluor Corp., General Electric Co., L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., Supreme Group Holding SARL, and URS Corp. Seven of these contractors were selected because their own internal employment policies allowed discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. ExxonMobil was selected for testing because shareholders have repeatedly voted down a resolution to protect LGBT workers from 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, president of the LGBT organization 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. President Obama’s executive action to protect LGBT workers confirms that he has advanced fairness for LGBT Americans more than all of his predecessors combined.”
The study was carried out by trained ERC test coordinators, utilizing paired resume testing. Each pair of resumes included: one LGBT resume, which listed the applicant’s leadership role in an LGBT organization; and one non-LGBT resume, which listed the applicant’s leadership role in a non-LGBT organization such as an environmental or women’s rights group. The LGBT resume was designed to be stronger in numerous respects than the non-LGBT resume. For example, the LGBT resume listed a higher grade point average and better work experience than the non-LGBT resume.
About the Equal Rights Center (www.equalrightscenter.org)
Originally formed in 1983, the Equal Rights Center (ERC) is a national non-profit civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. With members located in every state and the District of Columbia, the ERC works nationally to promote equal opportunity in housing, employment, disability rights, immigrant rights, and access to public accommodations and government services for all protected classes under federal, state, and local laws.