Many studies have documented wage gaps between men and women as well as between white people and minorities. A new study shows a similar wage gap between bisexual and heterosexual workers. The study found that bisexual men earn 11% to 19% less than heterosexual men and bisexual women earn 7% to 28% less than heterosexual women.
Why does this wage gap exist? That is the key question. Studies have shown that gay men earn less than heterosexual men but lesbians earn more than heterosexual women. Part of the reason for these pay disparities for gay men and women is that gay men are more likely to work in occupations typically filled by women (which pay less) and lesbians are more likely to work in occupations typically filled by men (which pay more). Furthermore, gay men and lesbians are less likely than heterosexual men and women to have children. Due to unfair stereotypes, men are more likely to get a pay increase when they have children and women are more likely to get a pay decrease. These and other factors explain most of the wage gap for gay men and lesbians but they do not explain the wage gap for bisexual men and women.
So, researchers believe that discriminatory bias may be driving the bisexual wage gap more than the gay/lesbian wage gap. Some research shows that bisexuals are viewed as more immature and dishonest and less capable and competent than heterosexual or gay people. These discriminatory stereotypes about bisexual people could be causing the pay gap.
In Maine, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee because of his or her sexual orientation. This includes discrimination based on bisexual status. If you are bisexual and believe that you have experienced discrimination, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights.