Legal Times

Elsewhere, homosexuals are faced with particular difficulties in finding jobs. In some countries, the legislative makes it difficult for homosexuals to apply for a job for example in those countries, homosexuals are seen to be unfit for military service (Paul, 2005). This can impede the person’s job chances in a number of ways, not only within the army itself but also afterwards if they have been dismissed from the army because of homosexual behavior (on or off duty) (Paul, 2005).

There is a hidden form of economic discrimination in work places, whereby the gay workers cannot include their partners in public or private pension and other work-related benefit schemes such as private health insurance (Young, et al. , 2005). As there is rarely a lower rate of contribution for such workers, the effect is that they receive a lower rate for work of equal value (Young, et al. , 2005). Work is important to everyone.

It is all about money and status, but for the most people job satisfaction, feeling comfortable at work and getting on with people that you work with is very important (Sharpe, 2002). Discrimination at work can have a devastating effect on people’s lives. A survey that was conducted showed that 16% of respondents (1 in 16) had at least one experience of discrimination at work place, a further 21% (1 in 5) suspected they had and 8% had actually been dismissed because of their sexuality (Legal Times, 2005).

48% of the respondents (nearly 1 in 2) said they had been harassed at work place due to their sexuality (Sharpe, 2002). The harassment described ranged from mild to very serious, and included unwanted jokes, innuendo and loaded comments, verbal abuse, malicious gossip, name calling, bullying and victimization, being “outed”, false accusation of abuse of employees children, graffiti, abusive phone calls that were made to them, anonymous mail, damage to property, black mail, violence and even death threats (Van der Meer, et al. , 2004).

24% of respondents (1 – 4) have been avoided to access certain jobs, career or employers due to discrimination that is based on their sexuality (Herdt, et al. , 2003). Two-thirds of respondents who were working concealed their sexuality from some people they worked with for fear of being discriminated because of their sexuality. These figures show that discrimination by the employers is the main part of the problem that faces the gays in work places (Herdt, et al. , 2003). Harassment is probably the most serious problem.

Existing discrimination at work place has been confirmed by a later study that was carried out. Out of 450 gays asked about their experience at work, no less than 44% reported that they had suffered discrimination because of their sexuality (Sharpe, 2002). In the worse cases this involved dismissal but a very large number reported instances of name calling and homophobic abuse (Sharpe, 2002). Earlier reports also showed that the nature and the extent that gays were treated were of a greater concern. Efforts have been made to defend the rights of gays at places of work (Herdt, et al., 2003).

The Armed Forces Lesbian and Gay Association has been formed, which is a support group for gay, lesbian and bisexual Armed Forces personnel (Michael, 2005). Gays are not allowed to bring the sex marriage partners to work but if certain benefits are offered to other employees then they should also be given to gay individuals (Michael, 2005). They should be offered domestic partner sick leave, health insurance and other benefits and the organizations should invite partners of gays staff to office events (Dyre, 2002).