In recent years, multiple states have enacted Employment Nondiscrimination Acts (ENDAs) in order to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Currently, ENDAs exist in twenty-two states, including the District of Columbia (Martell, 2013). Even though ENDAs work to end sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, they need to be extended on a federal basis in order to be maximally effective. This is because sexual orientation discrimination still widely exists in employment today. Tilcsik’s (2011) audit study of hiring discrimination among openly gay men proves that this type of discrimination is still heavily present in the labor market. According to Martell’s (2013) study, ENDAs have had success in decreasing wage differentials for behaviorally gay men. Martell’s (2013) work shows the positive and potential impact increased employment discrimination protection could have on gays and lesbians. Since hiring discrimination is still prevalent in America, stricter policies for antidiscrimination of sexual orientation in the workplace are imperative mechanisms for increasing employment equality.
Tilcsik (2011) performed one of the first and largest audit-studies of sexual orientation hiring discrimination among openly gay men in the United States. The study stands as one of the first to examine this practice across geographic areas that differ in acceptance of homosexuality in the workforce through popular attitudes and local laws (p. 592). Audit-studies employ experimental methods in real-world employment situations. They can be either in-person audits or correspondence tests. Tilcsik (2011) implements correspondence tests, which use fictitious matched resumes to measure sexual orientation discrimination. Tilcsik (2011) predicted that job applications of gay men have a lesser chance of receiving an interview invitation (or “callback”) than relatively equal applicants from heterosexual men.
Tilcsik (2011) proposes his reasoning for performing an audit-study by stating three main ways in which it produces effective results. First, Tilcsik (2011) states that the audit study shows direct evidence of sexual orientation discrimination that exists in hiring, better than studies of discrimination complaints, or surveys of one’s own experiences (p. 588). Secondly, because the audit-study ranges across geographic locations that vary in attitudes and legislation in regard to this issue, it provides information on how different laws and attitudes affect the probability of gay people being hired in various labor markets. Lastly, the study gives insight to the power of stereotyping in sexual orientation discrimination. Prior audit studies have not performed similar insight into stereotyping.
Tilcsik (2011) effectively implies sexual orientation on job applications without bringing in confounding variables by using a pair of resumes. Both fictitious resumes were graduating seniors in college, seeking...