Sexual Orientation and Organizational Justice in the Federal Service: Exploring Differences through an Intersectional Lens

Gregory B. Lewis, M. Blake Emidy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees perceive less justice in the federal service than do their heterosexual colleagues. The "double jeopardy"hypothesis suggests that this will be especially true for LGBTs with a second stigmatized identity, but intersectionality theory is less clear about whether being LGBT will have a larger impact on other marginalized groups than on gay white men. Using a series of regression analyses applied to the 2012-15 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, we investigate whether differences in organizational justice perceptions between LGBT and heterosexual employees are wider among people with other stigmatized identities. We find strong evidence of compounding effects: LGBT-heterosexual differences in perceptions of organizational justice are larger for women than for men, for people of color than for whites, for employees with than without disabilities, and for those earlier in their careers and at lower levels of the federal hierarchy. Anti-LGBT discrimination disproportionately affects LGBTs in weaker positions in society and the federal service. These findings contribute to the broader fields of public administration and diversity management by incorporating an intersectional framework to understand LGBT perceptions and experiences in public organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-508
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

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