A new study shows that complaints of workplace discrimination related to bias regarding sexual orientation are as commonplace as complaints of race-based discrimination… where anti-bias laws regarding sexual orientation exist, that is.

In a new study released Nov. 18, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law reported that complaints (and, arguably, actual incidents) of workplace discrimination based on whether the employee was gay, lesbian, or bisexual were as prevalent as similar complaints regarding gender and race bias.

In terms of significance, that translates into a demonstrated need for anti-discrimination laws that take orientation and gender identity into their scope.

According to a news release, “laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace are used as frequently by LGBT workers as laws prohibiting sex and race discrimination are used by women and people of color.

“Currently, twenty states and the District of Columbia prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; thirteen of those states also prohibit gender identity discrimination.”

The annual numbers revealed by the study show that in states where gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers are protected by law from discriminatory practices, 5 out of 10,000 workers covered by those laws file complaints.

In terms of gender- and race-based discrimination, 5 out of 10,000 women file similar complaints and 7 out of 10,000 racial minorities file such complaints.

The results, said Williams Institute research director M. V. Lee Badgett, show that anti-discrimination laws “are needed and utilized by the LGBT workforce.”

Read the full story from Edge.