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Your Employee Matters

Gender Change and the Law

By September 1, 2013No Comments

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 17 states and D.C. prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Those states are CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, MA, ME, MN, NJ, NM, NV, OR, RI, VT, and WA. As of December 2012, 57% of the Fortune 500 companies prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. The EEOC has also argued that gender identity discrimination is covered under Title VII.

HRC states that employees who have gone through gender transition have found disclosing their new identity to be a fearful process. What they look for more than anything else is respect and acceptance of their new identity. These employees also want to be able to use the restroom appropriate to their transgendered identity. Creating a separate restroom for them singles out their difference.

Although the number of transgendered employees is small, their transition can cause a great deal of attention, fear, ridicule, and prejudice. Some workers and managers won’t find it easy to accept the transgendered for religious, moral, and other grounds. However, the law requires employers to tolerate these differences, without harming their transgendered employees. As good people, we can accept these differences and move on with life.

For more information, go to the Human Rights Campaign website at