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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 20, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 42
New study says 40% of LGBT employees report workplace bullying
Section One
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New study says 40% of LGBT employees report workplace bullying

More than half confronted the bully

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Forty percent of LGBT employees in the United States reported that they encountered bullying in their workplaces, a new study by CareerBuilder says.

Fifty-three percent confronted the bully, but only 20% said the behavior stopped afterwards. Fewer than than one-third of LGBT workers said they reported bullying to human resources.

Most of those bullied said the guilty party was a single person, but 13% reported being bullied in a group setting.

Bullying has a demonstrable negative effect on LGBT workers' well-being. Nineteen percent of LGBT workers who experienced bullying said the incidents caused health problems, while 15% said they called in sick in order to escape bullying.

More than 40% of LGBT Americans said they left a job because of harassment.

Bullying against LGBT people takes many forms. Nearly two-thirds said they were falsely accused of mistakes. Other common complaints included being ignored by others, being held to different standards, being the subject of gossip, and being excluded from projects or meetings.

According David Kilmnick, CEO of the LGBT Network, the number of LGBT workers with concerns about workplace bullying has grown since the 2016 election. The LGBT Network is a nonprofit that serves the Gay and Transgender community on Long Island and the borough of Queens, New York.

The White House LGBT rights page - a fixture of the White House website when President Obama was in office - disappeared immediately after Donald Trump was inaugurated in January. Trump then announced a ban on Transgender people serving in the military.

'It has such a negative impact, not only to the LGBT person, which is a given. If you're being bullied for who you are, it will impact how one feels safe in one's workplace. But there are so many other people, non-LGBT folks, that don't want to hear this,' Kilmnick said.

A study conducted earlier this year by Out Now, an LGBT consulting firm based in the Netherlands, found that the share of LGBT individuals in the US who were out to everyone at work dropped from 44% in 2010 to 38% in 2015.

The US was the only place in the multi-country study where this metric declined. One possible explanation for that figure: nearly half of US LGBT workers reported having heard homophobic remarks in the workplace in the past year.

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