LGBT phobic discrimination at work: what you can submit to your employer in terms of inclusion

Is the company you work in a welcoming place for LGBT+ employees (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, …)? While diversity and inclusion have gradually made their way onto corporate agendas over the past decade, many LGBT+ employees continue to face homophobic discrimination, unease, or even danger in their workplace. Robotization: is your job threatened?

What environment for LGBT+ employees?

The professional environment is often perceived as anxiety-provoking for LGBT+ employees who are forced to hide their personal life at the risk of not integrating into the company and being set back, or on the contrary, fully assuming and taking the risk of being discriminated against.

Employees forced into silence

Nearly half of LGBT+ people are willing to lie about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in a discussion with their manager. More than two-thirds of people who hide their sexual orientation at work expect concrete action from companies before coming out. How to Increase Employee Engagement?

In the 2020 edition of their barometer, BCG and Têtu observe a regression concerning the inclusion of LGBT people in business. Only 43% of respondents are out of work, down 11 points from 2018. In addition, 38% believe that being out of work is a disadvantage, compared to 30% in 2018 and 2017. , 51% of civil servants and 46% of private-sector employees believe that “revealing one’s homosexuality to one’s professional entourage contributes to making co-workers uncomfortable”. What Should You Know About Consumer Rights?

The importance of social connection

While some question the relevance of taking into account coming out in the workplace, because it is a matter of private life, remember that 80% of LGBT+ outs say they have established friendly relations at work, compared to 45% of people who do is not (BCG, 2021).

This forced invisibility can also have consequences on the health of LGBT+ people, by making them more prone to psychosocial risks (anxiety, self-esteem, depression) that can lead to sick leave, as well as a cost, both for individuals and for employers in general. Red Tiger’s Eye Meanings, Properties, and Uses

Forms of homophobic discrimination at work

In 2017, the Defender of Rights published a report on homophobia at work in which we learned that 39% of LGBT+ people said they suffered from negative comments or attitudes at work. According to BCG, in 2020, 54% of LGBT+ people say they have been victims of discrimination in their workplace (inappropriate jokes, lack of seriousness, exclusion, etc.). 3 Applications Increasing In Recruitment Processes

Discrimination because of sexual orientation in the workplace occurs when an employee experiences negative action, harassment, or denial of certain benefits because of their sexual orientation.

In fact, the forms of homophobic and transphobic discrimination in the workplace faced by LGBT+ people are multiple:

  • Dismissal
  • Refusal to hire or train
  • Lack of evolution or “planarization”
  • Wage inequalities
  • Verbal, physical, and/or sexual harassment
  • Unsecured or inaccessible toilets
  • Inadequate medical coverage
  • Benefits based on dated definitions of family
  • Fear of coming out
  • No conflict resolution
  • Lack of representation

If according to the Ministry of the Interior the victims of homophobic acts are mostly young men, it should be noted that in business, discrimination linked to sexual orientation and/or gender identity has a greater impact on women, young people, people of color, transgender and non-binary people.

Homophobia at work: what does the law say?

1 out of 4 LGBT+ people has been the victim of at least one LGBTphobic action in the professional world. A victim of homophobia at work can take legal action to assert their rights. Homophobic discrimination consists of penalizing people because of their sexual orientation. It is manifested by insulting, violent or discriminatory words or acts. Which gemstone to wear for money & wealth?

Direct and indirect discrimination

The law distinguishes between two main types of discrimination: direct discrimination and indirect discrimination ( Article 1 of Law No. 2008-496 of May 27, 2008 ). Discrimination, direct or indirect, is prohibited by article L.1132-1 of the Labor Code and by article 6 of the law of July 13, 1983, on the rights and obligations of civil servants.

Thus, the law protects both employees against discrimination during recruitment and during their career, particularly on issues of remuneration, training, advancement, transfer, renewal of contract or tenure, but also dismissal or retirement.

Any employee, any candidate for a job, an internship, or a period of training in a company is protected by law against discrimination in hiring and at work (Labour Code, art. L.1132-1).

Labor law also provides that “no employee may be sanctioned, dismissed or be the subject of a discriminatory measure (…) for having refused, because of his sexual orientation, a geographical transfer in a State incriminating the homosexuality ” ( Labour Code, article L.1132-3-2 ).

Homophobia and criminal procedure

The Penal Code defines the penalties incurred for cases of discrimination, harassment, public defamation, and homophobic or transphobic insults.

Insult, or homophobic remarks, are addressed to a person with the intention of hurting or offending them. It aims to devalue a person’s real or supposed sexual orientation. If you are the victim of homophobic insult or defamation, you can file a complaint against the perpetrator(s).

Victims of homophobic (and more broadly LGBTophobic) discrimination can contact the police/gendarmerie, the victim support office of the judicial court, or report the facts to the human rights defender.

The penalties incurred

Before the criminal courts, the author of the discrimination incurs a three-year prison sentence and a fine of 45,000 euros ( article 225-2 of the Criminal Code ). If the perpetrator is a public official (town hall, prefecture, Pôle Emploi, etc.) and committed the acts in the course of his duties, the penalties can go up to 5 years in prison and 75,000 euro fine.

The victim can also bring civil action. The perpetrator may then be ordered to pay him damages in compensation for the harm suffered.

As an employee, what should be done in situations of LGBTophobe discrimination at work?

Homophobic discrimination at work is rarely denounced by employees. The main reason was given for not reporting these instances to a manager or human resources? Employees think that nothing will be done and/or do not want to harm their relationships with their colleagues.

Homophobic discrimination too often goes unpunished

Indeed, in companies, 85% of homophobic behaviors do not lead to consequences for their perpetrators, according to the study by the association l’Autre Cercle (2011). Victims of homophobia at work are confronted with omerta and silence from their superiors when they do not minimize or even cover up the facts.

In general, job interviews are the time when discrimination is most evident. Thus, 20% of LGBT+ people say they felt discriminated against when looking for a job.

44% of trans people say they have been discriminated against when looking for a job and 35% at work in the past 12 months (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014).

Contact persons

Who do you turn to when you experience homophobic discrimination at work?

Within the company

  • Colleagues ;
  • Hierarchy ;
  • Staff representatives, elected union representatives;
  • Human resources.


  • Occupational Medicine ;
  • Labor Inspectorate, Labor Court ;
  • Trade unions;
  • LGBT+ associations;
  • Defender of rights.

Create an inclusive environment

Membership of a specialized association, the signature of a charter, implementation of training and awareness-raising operations for employees, penalties for slippage, an adaptation of communication, etc. several alternatives exist when it comes to creating an inclusive environment for employees.

While only 22% of LGBT+ believe that their managers communicate effectively on diversity and inclusion (42 points less than their colleagues).

Yet, creating safe and inclusive workplaces for LGBT+ people positively impacts productivity, job satisfaction, and retention. Indeed, when employees can be themselves at work, they devote more time and energy to their tasks and to creating healthy relationships with their colleagues.

Change course, change company

If your work environment isn’t as LGBT+ friendly as you’d like, it might be time to explore new avenues. If it involves a job search, create a candidate profile on the Monster site to have access to hundreds of daily updated job offers, as well as career advice for each sector.

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