The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently updated its sex discrimination rules mandated for all federal contractors. The rule is the first update in over 40 years and clearly defines laws relating to sexual profiling, pay discrimination, leave and accommodations for pregnant employees, gender identity, and leave disparities between men and women for childcare, illness, and family medical leave. The ruling also focuses on best practices guidelines for federal contractors that will ensure employees work in an environment free from discrimination as outlined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
One of the key areas of the new mandates prohibits discrimination based on sexual profiling or stereotypes. Contractors must ensure that their employees are free from harassment or job discrimination based on their gender identification. They must also ensure that employees feel free to exercise their right to dress according to their gender identity as well as express themselves in mannerisms appropriate for their gender identification.
The ruling also puts to rest the topic of gender specific bathrooms in the workplace. Transgender employees are entitled to use the restrooms, changing rooms, showers, locker rooms, and other gender specific areas that match their gender identity. Transgender employees are also protected from mistreatment by employers or colleagues based on their decision to transition from one gender to another. Appropriate pronouns must coincide with the employee’s gender identification in both oral and written communication.
The new rule also addresses pay disparity between men and women. Employers must provide equal pay and benefits to employees that do the same job, and must ensure that both men and women have equal opportunities to pursue and perform the jobs they are qualified to fulfill. Employers can be guilty of discriminatory behavior if they fail to provide both male and female workers with access to jobs that have previously been gender stereotyped. For example, an employer who fails to hire a female applicant for a job that requires heavy lifting based on the assumption that women are not as able bodied as men is in violation of the new rule, Philadelphia employment lawyers note.
Best practice guidelines are included in the new ruling to help employers comply with the stipulations. Some of the suggestions include designating at least one non-gender bathroom, shower, and changing room in the workplace; changing the language of job titles that indicate gender, such as lineman or mailman; ensuring corporate policies include provisions for both men and women to take leave to tend to childcare and family medical issues; and analyzing insurance benefits to ensure that gender transitioning coverage is included.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for the Rights of LGBT Employees
At Sidney L. Gold & Associates, our Philadelphia employment lawyers are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of all employees, especially those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community. We are staunch advocates for those who suffer discrimination in the workplace based on their gender identity or sexual preferences, and are dedicated to holding violators liable for discriminatory actions.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual discrimination, call us at 215-569-1999, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Center City Philadelphia offices serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.