Out & Equal applauds Walmart’s recent provisions in its employee non-discrimination policy to add protection for transgender employees. Transgender workers continue to face discrimination in the workplace at even higher rates than lesbians and gay men. Few states offer anti-discrimination protections that include transgender people. According to Injustice at Every Turn, 26% of respondents reported that they had lost a job due to being transgender or gender non-conforming and 50% were harassed. The unemployment rate for transgender individuals is at 14% (National Center for Transgender Equality / National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011, pg 55), a figure which is much higher than the national average of 9.1 %.
Including gender identity is an important step in creating a workplace that is fully inclusive of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Out & Equal urges Walmart to show continued progress by taking additional steps to provide diversity training covering gender identity, adopt supportive gender transition guidelines, and offer transgender-inclusive health benefits and domestic partner health insurance, COBRA, dental, vision, and legal dependent coverage.