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Todays workforce is becoming more diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity,

and religion as well as in sexual orientation. Sexual Sexual orientation remains the
so-called last acceptable and remaining prejudice- in modern societies and
organizations in comparison with other dimensions of diversity. Thus, lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender (hereafter, LGBT) employees continue to face a variety of
challenges that range from being forced to remain closeted to actual job dismissal.
LGBT individuals face challenges in employment both on an individual level and as
members or a community that is subject to discrimination and abuse. The economic
status of LGBT persons are continually deprived and challenged because they
cannot find and secure employment due to the fact that they are not assessed by
companies based on skills, work experience and competence but instead are judged
of their sexual orientation and gender identity or SOGI. There are no statistics to
give us the extent of SOGI discrimination in the Philippines. The dearth of
information is itself a sign of another facet of the problem. Government agencies
that should be involved in issues of SOGI discrimination the Department of Labor
and Employment (DOLE), the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), the Civil
Service Commission (CSC), and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) do not
aggregate reports of LGBT discrimination. SOGI discrimination is a category of
workplace discrimination that has not become part of mainstream policy dialogues. 1
Only a limited number of well-established equality laws and inclusive
workplace policies have been developed within the context of emergent economies
to protect excluded sexual minorities and to gain leverage based on sexual
orientation diversity in the workplace. The career prospects of GLBT employees can
become extremely difficult in comparison with heterosexual employees if other
workers, peers, or managers know their hidden sexual orientations. This is
particularly important in unsafe environments in which differences in sexual
orientation are not tolerated.
The governing law between employers and employees is Presidential Decree
No. 442, also known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. While several articles of
the Code have been amended, its main policy is the protection of workers. However,
LGBT individuals encounter discriminatory practices that affect their employment
status. In the case of lesbian employees, LEAP 2, reported that discrimination can
occur in the process of hiring, in the assigning of wages, in the granting of benefits
and promotions, and the retention of employees.
Instances faced by LGBT individuals are being asked inappropriate questions
during job interviews, companies prejudice in the selection, hiring and promotion of
said individuals, stereotypes are used to decide on work responsibilities, and they
are expected to conform to gender roles in the workplace. Some LGBT people are
discriminated even before they are employed. For instance, there are cases of maleto-female transgender women being told by recruitment officers that they will only
be hired if they presented themselves as males by cutting their hair short, dressing
in mens clothes, and acting in stereotypically masculine ways. 3 For those already
employed, there are cases of dismissals of LGBT employees solely because of their
sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). 4
Another example is when LGBT people are specifically hired in order for them
to be abused. For instance, there are allegedly some call centers that hire LGBT
1

Ocampo, M.B. (2011). Sex in the Workplace: Approaches to Sexual Orientation and
Gender Identity Discrimination in the Workplace absent an Anti-Discrimination Law, the
Philippine Law Journal.
2
Lesbian Activism Project, a non-government organization that advocates for lesbian rights
since 1990.
3
Submission of the Civil Society Organizations Coalition report on the situation of LGBT
persons. Available at
http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session13/PH/JS13_UPR_PHL_S13_2012_Joint
Submission13_e.pdf.
4
Discrimination, Outrage magazine. Available at http://outragemag.com/a-closer-look-atlgbt-discrimination/.

people because they are unable to legally marry. These companies force LGBT
employees to take the graveyard shifts because they do not have families to go
home to. LGBT people also forfeit the legal benefits that those who can marry enjoy,
such as taking maternity leave.5
In a survey conducted by Ateneo de Manila Universitys psychological
department, homosexuals felt the need to work harder in order to prove their
qualifications to their employers and that they are less prioritized in promotions
compared to their straight colleagues. They also thought that they were penalized
more than straights for the same mistakes committed. 6

2013 Philippine National LGBT Community Dialogue.


No gays allowed, Phil. Daily Inquirer. Avaialable at
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20081206-176498/CHR-vows-topromote-gay-lesbian-rights.
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