National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Photo Courtesy The Gender Spectrum Collection

LGBTQ people, especially transgender people and LGBTQ people of color, experience high rates of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. For many years, NCLR has been fighting to secure equal treatment of LGBTQ people in the workplace though litigation, policy, and legislation.


Legislation & Policy

Raise the Wage Act


The Raise the Wage Act would raise the federal minimum wage in stages over the next six years until it reaches $15. After six years, the minimum wage would be adjusted annually to keep pace with growth in the typical worker’s wages.

An increase in the federal minimum wage would help the LGBTQ community, especially its most marginalized members. The Williams Institute estimates incomes would rise above poverty level for nearly 30,000 people in same-sex relationships. Raising the minimum wage to $15 would decrease poverty by almost 50% among female same-sex couples and by 35% among male same-sex couples. In June 2019, The U.S. House passed the bill. The Senate not has taken action on the bill.


Cases & Advocacy

Ketcham v. Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Oregon


Christina Ketcham is a 60-year-old transgender woman who started her transition over four years ago and continues to experience significant distress from the incongruence between her typically masculine facial features and her identity as a woman. To alleviate that distress, Christina’s treating healthcare providers determined that certain facial feminization procedures are medically necessary to treat her gender dysphoria. But, the health insurance offered by her employer has a categorical exclusion for all facial feminization procedures.



Press Release


How the New Overtime Pay Law Impacts the LGBTQ Community

The Department of Labor’s overtime pay rule change would benefit hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ workers, their families, and their communities. Despite the significant political, social, and legal gains made by the LGBTQ community in the United States, many LGBTQ workers still struggle to make ends meet. LGBTQ individuals – particularly women, transgender people, and people of color – experience higher rates of poverty than do the general U.S population. In addition to workplace discrimination, working and low-income LGBTQ people problems include, but are not limited to, unpaid sick and family leave, non-living wages, and a lack of free or affordable childcare, healthcare, and housing.  Read more

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