LGBT workers are leaving their jobs because of incessant bullying

One in five LGBT workers have experienced health issues because of bullying, and almost half have quit because of it.

Despite more organisations globally adopting diversity and inclusion practices today, LGBT workers say they continue to face bullying at the workplace.

New research from CareerBuilder found that two in five LGBT employees in the US have recently been bullied at work.

This is 11 percentage points higher than the national average of all workers combined. Almost 60% percent of bullied LGBT workers report being bullied repeatedly. 

So what does bullying look like in today's workplace? Over half of bullied LGBT workers say they were bullied by one person, and 13% say it happened in a group setting.

Some 15% of LGBT workers who have been harassed say they were bullied by someone younger, and 61% say they were bullied by someone older.

Among the most common examples of bullying given by LGBT workers who were bullied at work were:

  • Falsely accused of mistakes you didn't make (61%)
  • Ignored - comments were dismissed or not acknowledged (50%)
  • Used different standards/policies for you than other workers (49%)
  • You were gossiped about (47%)
  • Picked on for personal attributes (race, gender, appearance) (42%)
  • Constantly criticised by boss or co-workers (40%)
  • Someone didn't perform certain duties, which negatively impacted your work (40%)
  • Purposely excluded from projects or meetings (31%)
  • Belittling comments were made about your work during meetings (28%)

Not holding the bullies accountable is detrimental to businesses.

Of those LGBT workers who were bullied at work, 19% have suffered from health-related problems as a result of being bullied at work, and 15% have called in sick because of feeling bullied.

Forty-one percent of LGBT workers who have been bullied at work have left a job or been dismissed because they have felt bullied.

The recent case of former Tesla worker Jorge Ferro is one such example. Last week, he filed a lawsuit against the company and the recruitment agency that hired him on claims he was unfairly dismissed for complaining about anti-gay harassment.

Ferro first filed a complaint against Tesla with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in September last year. He alleged that his trainer had made fun of his sexual orientation, even telling him on one occasion “to watch his back”.

"Bullying of any kind or of anyone has no place in the workplace – period," said Michael Erwin, director of corporate communications and social media at CareerBuilder.

"Employers have a responsibility to create a safe working environment for all employees. They can minimise this destructive behaviour by offering sensitivity training and enforcing anti-bullying policies across their organisations."

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