Transgender discrimination in the workplace has recently made national headlines. This is no new issue for California though. Prohibition of discrimination related to gender expression and gender identity has long been the goal of the golden state. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing has issued a new brochure entitled “Transgender Rights in the Workplace.”
Here are a few of the key points:
- “Employers should not ask questions about a person’s body or whether they plan to have surgery.” Particular steps do have to be taken by an employee in order to receive protections related to gender transitions. There are physical transitions and social transitions. Medical treatments used to change gender are considered physical transitions whereas changes in name and bathroom usage are social transitions.
- Dress codes established by employers must be non-discriminatory. Thus, employees identifying as female must be allowed to dress according to the dress code policy applicable to other females. Not allowing this is considered transgender discrimination and may be actionable.
- Employees are permitted to use the locker room or restroom corresponding to their gender identity. Whenever possible employers should designate a single-stall bathroom as uni-sex for employees who want more privacy. Employers cannot require employees to use the single-stall bathroom no matter what their gender identity is.
Many of these same issues were outlined in the U.S. Department of Labor’s “A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers.”
If you are an employee and think that you may have experienced transgender discrimination, you should contact an employment law attorney that represents employees. It is important that you know and understand your rights so that if you experience transgender discrimination in the workplace, you can take action to protect your rights.
Aiman-Smith & Marcy is dedicated to upholding your rights against workplace discrimination of any kind. If you have been a victim of transgender discrimination, please call us at 510-817-2711 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.