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    Finding a Good Job Fit When You Identify as LGBT

    Question

    “I identify myself as a member of the LGBT community. I think I have been discriminated against in my job, but mostly I just want to be in a workplace where I can be accepted for who I am. How can I find that great fit?” — Stella from Tuscaloosa, AL

    Answer

    Discrimination in the workplace is still a very serious issue faced by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.  Currently there are no federal laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination at their jobs, however more than 20 states now have anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT employees.  To find out if your state is one, check out the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal websites.  These organizations also have resources on what you can do if you have experienced discrimination at work.

    For LGBT people, finding a workplace where we feel safe to be open about our lives can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it is possible.  When you are looking for a new job, one great strategy is to target employers that have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation.  Many large companies including retailers, banks, hotels and manufacturers currently have this type of policy.  The Human Rights Campaign provides a list of “The Best Places to Work 2011” on their website but there are even more companies there that welcome LGBT workers.  Look at the websites of companies you may like to work for to find out if they have this type of policy.

    Other LGBT people that you know are also a great resource when looking for a new job.  Ask people in your area about where they work or have worked and whether or not they felt it was a safe and open place for LGBT workers.  Many smaller businesses may not have written non-discrimination policies but are still welcoming of LGBT employees.

    Try not to feel discouraged in your job search.  Experiencing discrimination can seriously affect a person’s self-esteem, sense of safety and trust in other people.  When it happens at work it can also threaten your ability to make a living.  With some research, you can find an employer in your area that will be happy to accept you for who you are.

    Megan Whalen
    Seattle Goodwll Industries Program Analyst
    Read More Posts By This Author

    Your comment will be held for moderation until approved. For questions about Goodwill programs and services, please use our locator and contact your nearest Goodwill headquarters.

    • Alma Jackson
      October 18th, 2012 at 8:21 am

      I was surprised and encouraged to find this section of your website. So many in the LGBT community have so few sources of support in their communities. I work in the employment sector and will definitely refer clients to your website in general and this section in particular for helpful information. Many thanks for your support.

    • Bonnie Reischl-Rose
      October 24th, 2012 at 10:07 am

      I am seeking a part-time job at Goodwill in Appleton, WI.

    • BARBARA J.WEST
      October 30th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      my god daughter is in need of help/ training program–and g.e.d. she is 19 yrs. please help me with this we can come to the office- just tell me where, here’s my cell-number ***-***-****/ my name is Barbara West/ thank you so much.

    • lenora
      November 2nd, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Hello Tj, I have been trying to place an online application at your Bartlett IL. location, and i’m having a heck of a time in the process. I keep getting, “salary will only take in numeric” I’m doing this but it just keeps telling me this…HELP!!!! Trying to seek immediate employment :)

    • D McCarty
      November 15th, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      I am 59 years old and have a paralegal degree, a insurance license in property and casualy and can not find a job. I have been told I am over qualified, have not hear back from interviews and have even been told that the company did not have anything to meet my demands (which I did not have any and told them I would work any hours or days). These answers are just ways around telling me that I am to old. I have an interview with Goodwill coming up and I just wonder how their hiring is for people my age. I have all of the qualifications for the job, can work any day or hours but how will they handle the age of a person that is 59?

      • cheryl walker
        April 23rd, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        I am sure Goodwill will assist you in obtaining some level of employment. Contact your local office and approach them about your situation. Best of Luck

    • Danielle Danyluk
      December 7th, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      I was very happy to see your support for the LGBT community. Many thrift stores are anti-equality. I respect your company and will not shop at any other thrift store :)

    • Susan
      December 21st, 2012 at 11:25 am

      I have publicly endorsed you to the LGBTQ Community page which I admin. Thank you for your very public acceptance and affirmation of our Community!

      http://www.facebook.com/LGBTQFFI?ref=hl

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