International Transgender Day of Visibility Counters Prejudice, Recognizes Trans Community

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek March 30, 2018
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The eighth International Transgender Day of Visibility on Saturday is aimed at raising awareness around the discrimination transgender people still face in the workplace and elsewhere and celebrating the accomplishments of these individuals.

IBM and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) are co-releasing what they call a first-of-its-kind playbook—"Helping Transgender Employees Make the Transition at Work." It details best practices on how companies can help transgender employees, and those around them, with a successful transition. The resource will be housed here on the company's website beginning next week.

"While many companies have guidelines for supporting transgender employees, they are internal guidelines. This is a playbook other companies can use as a [free] resource," said IBM spokeswoman Laurie Friedman.  

SHRM Online has collected articles from its archives and other sources that look at the challenges transgender people face in the workplace, and other resources that are available to employers. 

Title VII Prohibits Transgender Discrimination, 6th Circuit Rules

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a funeral home unlawfully fired its director after he notified the owner he was transitioning from male to female and that the funeral home's actions were not protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
(SHRM Online)   

Attorney General: Transgender Workplace Discrimination Not Prohibited Under Law 

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum Oct. 4, instructing the Justice Department that federal law does not protect transgender individuals from workplace discrimination based on sex. The action reverses the Justice's Department's stance since December 2014, when then-U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. said that transgender individuals were protected from workplace discrimination under the law. 
(SHRM Online)   

For Transgender Americans, Workplace Discrimination Still a Major Problem 

Even before President Donald Trump's policy revisions in August to ban transgender Americans from serving in the military, that group of people faced significant hurdles to employment that is free from discrimination.

Currently, there is no federal law explicitly prohibiting discriminating against transgender people in the workplace. However, multiple federal court cases have interpreted bias against transgender individuals as a form of sex discrimination. Employment nondiscrimination laws that include protections for transgender people have been enacted in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
(Market Watch)  

California Employers Required to Post Transgender-Rights-in-the-Workplace Posters 

Effective January 1, 2018, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing  requires employers with five  or more employees to post Transgender Rights in the Workplace Posters which may be accessed here. Employers cannot use prior versions of the poster.
(Jackson Lewis law firm)

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Employing Transgender Workers]

Strategies for Developing a Transgender-Inclusive Workplace 

The Job Accommodations Network (JAN) takes inquiries from employers seeking information about ways to include transgender employees in the workplace. Many inquiries come from employers with a worker who's been employed for some time and is known as one gender, but is transitioning to a different gender. JAN's discussions with employers and others often focus on supporting the employee's transition and making modifications that ensure that the employee can work in a manner consistent with how they live their daily lives, based on their gender identity. 
(Job Accommodation Network blog)   

How to Comply with California's Expanded Anti-Harassment Training Requirements  

In late 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 396, which expanded existing supervisor training requirements for employers. Under the bill, beginning in January 2018, content on harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation must be included in the training. 
(SHRM Online)   

Transgender-Inclusive Benefits for Employees and Dependents  

Employers can advocate on behalf of the transgender people insured on their group health insurance plans. Employers can do so by working with their insurance carriers or administrators to remove transgender exclusions and provide comprehensive transgender-inclusive insurance coverage.
(Human Rights Campaign)   

Model Transgender Employment Policy  

This model policy and guide will clarify the law and help your company welcome and include transgender, gender non-conforming, and transitioning employees. Below is a sample policy that your company can use as the basis for creating your own inclusive policy to ensure transgender, gender nonconforming, and transitioning employees feel safe and welcome in your workplace. 
(Transgender Law Center)

 

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