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Workplaces have made progress towards GLBT equality yet GLBT workers still go to work every day with fear that they might lose their jobs because of who they love and who they are. There is no federal law protecting the GLB community from workplace discrimination and harassment. There is confusion among organizations as to whether the federal civil rights law Title VII protects gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) employees.The EEOC and several courts clearly have stated that GLB employees are protected by Title VII however other courts have disagreed. Recently, the EEOC has filed its first two sexual orientation lawsuits. These two cases demonstrate the EEOC’s commitment to moving forward to protect GLB employees from discrimination under Title VII. Transgender employees are protected under the Civil Rights Act Title VII because their discrimination is “because of sex” yet discrimination lawsuits continue to arise as to what bathroom and locker room transgender employees can use while at work. Roughly 90% of transgender and 40% of GLB employees experience workplace discrimination according to some surveys. Heterosexism – the cultural expectation that everyone is, should be, or would prefer to be heterosexual – is the established norm of the workplace; a commonplace bias in American institutions. This bias gets played out in both overt and covert behaviors which in turn negatively impact the organizational culture. However, there have been organizational successes in diminishing the biases. There is an opportunity for your organization to create strategies to ensure GLBT inclusion in your workforce


  • The Implicit Association Test (online)
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Heterosexism assumptions
  • International LGBT considerations
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Restroom access for transgender employees
  • Guidelines for the transitioning of a transgender employee
  • Responding to negative reactions to LGBT inclusion
  • Workplace dress codes, transgender employees, and gender non-conforming employees

All organizations strive to meet their mission and goals. Most organizations employee GLBT workers. When GLBT workers are welcomed and included, without fear as to their sexual orientation and gender identity, the organization is more productive, has better morale, is healthier, and GLBT employees are not discriminated against. When the welcome and inclusive environment is not a reality, productivity drops, morale decreases, and the organization is at risk for liability. The organization’s climate and culture are compromised leading to increased turnover and difficulty hiring GLBT employees.


  • To examine GLBT perceptions and stereotypes
  • To describe the impact on GLBT employees and the workplace when they fear being who they are at work
  • To discuss transgender
  • To establish gender transition guidelines
  • To identify organization practices to minimize discrimination
  • To discuss the outcome of GLBT supportive policies and practices
  • To develop organization and individual strategies for GLBT inclusion into the workforce

  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • VP of HR
  • All HR directors, managers, and generalists
  • Supervisors
  • Managers
  • Director of Risk Management

Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and a recognized expert investigator on workplace and school harassment and bullying. She conducts harassment and bullying investigations and functions as an expert witness in harassment and bullying lawsuits. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector. 

Dr. Strauss also provides organizational, management, and employee development by conducting training, coaching, and facilitating workshops. She has been the Director of Training and Development and consults with a variety of organizations and industries, both large and small. Susan has also been the director of Wellness and has consulted with organizations to help them design, develop, implement and evaluate their Wellness programs. 

Susan has a doctorate in organizational leadership. She is a registered nurse, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling, a master’s degree in community health, and professional certificate in training and development. She has been involved in the harassment and bullying arena since 1985.

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