Draft Gender Transition Plan

Online sidebar

By Jillian T. Weiss Oct 1, 2009
LIKE SAVE PRINT
Reuse Permissions

October CoverThe employee known as ________________ (“the employee”) has notified the Company of his or her intention to transition from one gender to another. This plan will govern the actions of the Company and the employee in regard to this gender transition, including:
  • Timeline.
  • Dress.
  • Company resources.
  • ID changes.
  • Security clearance issues.
  • Facilities usage.
  • Appropriate norms of conduct for Company employees.
  • Gender transition guidelines review session.
  • Complaint procedures.
  • Deviations from plan.
  • Amendment of plan.
  • Change of location.
  • Ending date.

[Legal professionals may wish to consider whether to include a disclaimer that the written Transition Plan is not a contract and is not binding. At the same time, such a disclaimer may have the counterproductive effect of allowing an employee to deviate from the plan without consequences. Section 11, covering plan amendments, gives sufficient flexibility to the Company such that a disclaimer would seem unnecessary and counterproductive.]

  1. Timeline

    The employee has notified the Company that he or she will begin living in a different gender role on or about ____________________.

  2. Dress Code

    It is expected that the employee in transition will adhere to the dress code of his/her new gender, and that appropriate work attire will be worn. The applicable dress code for the employee is as follows:

  3. Company Resources [Note: It is important to place this information here because many employees do not know how to find these contacts, and it helps to have them gathered in one location.]

    Gender Transition Liaison (GTL) – contact info:
    Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – contact person:
    Affinity Group – contact person:
    Diversity Council – contact person:
    Leave administration – contact person:
    Insurance benefits – contact person:

  4. ID Changes

    The name and gender on all employment records created on or after ________________ will be listed as _______________________. The name in the HR database will be changed on or about _______________ as follows: ______________________. A new e-mail address will be issued to the employee on or about ______________________.

  5. Security Clearance Issues

    If the employee has a security clearance, Company industrial security will be notified by the employee in writing no later than ________________.

  6. Facilities Usage

    After discussion with the employee and Company management, and based on consideration of the criteria listed in the Company guidelines, the following arrangements have been made for facilities usage: (Bathrooms; Dressing Rooms, if any; Other Gender-Specific Spaces, if any)

    If the employee is notified that he or she will be reassigned to another Company location, permanently or temporarily, the employee should notify the GTL as soon as possible.

  7. Appropriate Norms of Conduct for Company Employees

    Form of address – The employee shall be known by the name of ___________________________ as of ______________. The proper pronouns to use shall be ______________ (he/him or she/her).

    Because most people have not been exposed to gender transition, it is likely that co-workers will make mistakes, such as referring to the employee in gender transition by the wrong name or pronoun, or asking inappropriate questions. Employees in transition should gently correct a co-worker who makes a mistake. It is assumed that mistakes will be less frequent after a reasonable period of time.

    If, after a reasonable period of time, a particular employee continually addresses the employee by the wrong name or gender identity, the GTL should be notified. The employee should not attempt to correct the situation by inappropriate conduct in return.

    If a Company employee, contractor, vendor or customer requests not to work with the employee because of his or her gender identity, such a request cannot be honored. The Company cannot subject an employee to adverse employment actions based on his or her personal identity. Therefore, the Company cannot honor a request to isolate the employee from certain contacts. Those who choose to work with the Company must respect the Company’s policies. However, the GTL may be able to provide some guidance to the requester that will help make the transition easier.

      • Medical information – Other than the fact of gender transition, the employee should not discuss medical condition or procedures with other Company employees. Employees should keep medical information confidential. Discussion of such information at the workplace is a breach of confidentiality, and in such a situation the Company may take action to amend the transition plan and/or take corrective action based on such information. Further, it is likely that public disclosure of sensitive medical information regarding gender transition will lower the comfort level of co-workers and require changes to the facilities usage plan.
      • Media contacts - All media contacts should be referred to the media office.

  8. Guidelines Review Session

    Gender Transition Guidelines Review Session will be held with those in frequent workplace contact, including co-workers, vendors and customers who are in direct contact with the employee. This meeting will be held on or about _______. The purpose of the meeting is to inform them of changes in dress and proper forms of address, the Company’s guidelines, and expected norms of conduct. Except for the fact of transition, medical privacy will be maintained.​

    The employee will not be present at the session in order to give attendees the opportunity to ask questions with less discomfiture. However, if the employee desires, he or she may write a short letter to be given to those attending the meeti
    ng. The employee should give the letter to the GTL no later than ____________ to ensure its inclusion in the meeting. The letter should introduce the new name, express the employee’s commitment to a good working environment and, if desired, include a short personal message about his or her transition. A letter expressing management support may also be given to those attending the meeting, if appropriate. The management letter should be given to the GTL no later than ______________ to ensure its inclusion in the meeting.

  9. Complaint Procedures

    Any employee concerns or complaints about gender transition, including those of the employee in transition, co-workers, managers, vendors, customers or others, are to be referred to the GTL, not to the employee in transition. If complaints or concerns are voiced to the employee in transition, the employee should refer the person to the GTL and notify the GTL.

    When concerns or complaints about gender transition are raised to the GTL, the GTL will speak to those concerned to provide guidance regarding the Company’s policy. The matter may also be referred through the usual Company grievance procedures.

  10. Deviations from Plan

    Deviation from the terms of this transition plan may constitute grounds for corrective action by the Company to ensure that the plan is adhered to in the future.

  11. Amendment of Plan

    If the employee or the manager feels that the transition plan needs to be changed in order to constitute a reasonable accommodation, the request is to be made to the GTL. The request should be in writing and specifically state the change requested and evidence supporting a significant need for the change. Within a reasonable period of time, the GTL will contact the employee and supervisory management to discuss the change and issue a written decision granting or denying the request.

  12. Change of Location

    If the employee is notified that he or she will be reassigned to another Company location, permanently or temporarily, the employee should notify the GTL as soon as possible.

  13. Ending Date

    This plan will terminate one
    year from the date listed in section 1, unless the GTL determines, in his or her sole discretion, that circumstances require continuing it for a specific period of time to address problems or concerns that have arisen. The employee and supervisory management shall be notified in writing of the time of extension and the reason.

________________________________________

From Transgender Workplace Diversity: Policy Tools, Training Issues and Communication Strategies for HR and Legal Professionals (BookSurge, 2007), by Jillian T. Weiss.

W​eb Extras

SHRM article: Accommodating Sex Transformations (HR Magazine)
LIKE SAVE PRINT
Reuse Permissions

SHRM CONNECT

Join SHRM's exclusive peer-to-peer social network

Join Today

Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You

SPONSOR OFFERS

Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies

Search & Connect