Prevalence and correlates of workplace violence: descriptive results from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

Occup Environ Med. 2024 Apr 28;81(4):178-183. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2023-109197.


Objective: To describe the lifetime prevalence of workplace harassment, physical violence and sexual assault against transgender and non-binary workers targeted due to their gender identity and to identify correlates of this workplace violence.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study used data from 4597 transgender or non-binary respondents from the 2008-2009 National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Respondents reported if they had ever experienced harassment, physical violence or sexual assault at work specifically because of their gender identity. We estimated the prevalence of each type of violence stratified by gender identity, race/ethnicity, age, educational attainment, history of working in the street economy (eg, sex industry, drug sales) and if people at work knew their gender identity.

Results: Workplace violence was prevalent, with 50% of transgender and non-binary workers having ever experienced harassment, 7% physical violence and 6% sexual assault at work because of their gender identity. Harassment was common among all of these workers, but physical violence and sexual assault were more than twice as common among transfeminine and non-binary workers assigned male at birth, workers of colour, workers with low educational attainment and those who had ever worked in the street economy.

Conclusions: Transgender and non-binary workers commonly face violence at work because of their gender identity. Workplace violence prevention programmes should incorporate ways to prevent gender identity-based violence and facilitate channels for workers to report the occurrence of discrimination and violence.

Keywords: epidemiology; non-binary; transgender; violence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transgender Persons* / psychology
  • Transgender Persons* / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workplace / psychology
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace Violence* / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult