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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 10, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 24
Ending Trans discrimination in the workplace

New guide helps employers do the right thing
Section One
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Ending Trans discrimination in the workplace

New guide helps employers do the right thing

Courtesy National LGBTQ Task Force

The National LGBTQ Task Force and the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights have published a first-of-its-kind resource to help eliminate workplace discrimination against Transgender and gender nonconforming people.

The guide, titled 'Valuing Transgender Applicants and Employees,' provides in-depth best practices intended to help employers across the nation create a genuinely inclusive and welcoming workplace environment for Trans people.

'Everyone, including Transgender people, deserves a fair chance at a good-paying job and the ability to provide for themselves and their families,' said Victoria Rodríguez-Roldán, director of the National LGBTQ Task Force's Trans/Gender Nonconforming Justice Project.

'Transgender people face formidable discrimination and harassment in the workplace. This new resource provides vital recommendations for employers and human resource specialists looking to ensure that Transgender people are treated with dignity and respect in the workplace.'

In the United States, 90 percent of Transgender people report experiencing harassment, discrimination, and mistreatment in the workplace, according to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey report. A 2015 D.C. Office of Human Rights report, 'Qualified and Transgender,' revealed that 48 percent of employers surveyed appeared to prefer at least one less-qualified applicant perceived as cisgender over a more-qualified applicant perceived as Transgender.

'While many jurisdictions across the nation do not have explicit protections for Transgender workers, in the District of Columbia we are fortunate to have a strong law that prohibits employment discrimination against Transgender people,' said Mónica Palacio, director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights.

'Yet many times employers who want to create welcoming environments are unsure of how best to do that. We believe this best practices guide will be an important starting place for those employers who want to build Transgender-inclusive workplaces.'

Currently, 19 states and D.C. have explicit workplace nondiscrimination protections based on gender identity and expression. Among the most progressive and comprehensive nondiscrimination laws that include gender identity or expression is D.C.'s Human Rights Act.

'I strongly believe that ensuring all employees are treated with dignity and respect - including Transgender employees - leads to a more productive, creative, and happy workplace,' said Jay Haddock Ortiz, a D.C.-area business owner and president of Capital Hotels and Suites.

'Adopting strong employment nondiscrimination policies and creating Transgender-inclusive workplaces is good for businesses and good for the country, so I'm excited this new best-practices guide can assist employers who want to build welcoming environments for Transgender employees and all employees, creating a workplace of equal sensitivity to the lives of those we employ. Respect of an individual is the basis of any relationship personal or business.'

To read the entire report, visit www.thetaskforce.org/valuing-transgender-applicants-employees.

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