Transgender Rights In The Workplace

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Language is continually evolving to correctly communicate the speaker’s intention. A word can have many messages both through literal definition and social contacts. Queer language has become more specific.

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Contributing to this shift in language, some parts of society have becoming more understanding of the LGBT+ community. despite the recent acceptance there is still confusion surrounding transgender people. A transgender person is someone whose gender identity is different than their male/female reproductive system at birth. This term does not have anything to do with sexual orientation, gender expression or physical anatomy. Transgender and transsexual have a different meaning. Transsexual suggests a person who has gone through a sex reassignment surgery.

On the federal level the courts have stated that discrimination against gender identity is historically not covered under the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination against sex. Recently in 2012, the court has extended the definitional of discrimination against sex to include gender identity and in 2014, Eric Holder the US Attorney General stated that he agreed with this decision. As of now there are no comprehensive set of laws that protect transgender people. Selective states (California, Connecticut Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont) have altered discrimination law to protect Transgender people. Gender dysphoria is excluded from disability laws except for California.

the Transgender Law Center in California, published Know Your Rights: Transgender People at Work that answered 14 commonly asked question. Employees should have safe access to bathrooms that match their gender identity. An alternative is to use a single bathroom if the transgender person feels more comfortable or if another employee does not want to use the same bathroom with a transgender person.

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