In 2015, the National Center for Transgender Equality reported that the employment rate for transgender people was at 15 percent. That was about three times the overall unemployment rate that year. Discrimination may have a lot to do with that number.
In a survey by the same organization, three in 10 respondents who had been employed in the past year said they were denied a promotion, been terminated, or endured some other kind of mistreatment at work that was related to their gender identity or expression. At the same time, 77 percent delayed or hid their gender transition, or quit their jobs to avoid mistreatment at work.
Transgender people simply want the same rights that all other people want; they want to be recognized for their work, treated fairly and respectfully, and included. There are several ways employers can make the workplace more inclusive for transgender people. The following are a few ideas:
Model a safe environment
Business owners and those in management can set the tone for the way others in the workplace treat transgender people. Assuming there is a transgender in the room at all times, even when that is not the case, is a good habit for remaining inclusive and fair. Keep all conversations respectful, avoid stereotypes, and make it clear that the workplace is safe and accepting of all people.
Communicate and listen well
If employers or managers sense that a transgender person is working in fear or has the need to come out to co-workers, they should support their needs in the best way they can. They should also make it clear that transgender people have the same rights as anyone else at work.
Offer gender-segregated restrooms
Allow transgender people to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity. Employers can also offer single-occupancy restrooms that are gender-neutral. Reducing anxiety in the workplace can make a huge difference in a person’s life.
Do not ask a transgender person to explain their transition or ask questions about their surgical status. Always treat their orientation as a private matter and ensure the worker’s preferred name and gender is recognized on business cards, directories, and more.
Demonstrate transgender respect in training
Company workplace or sexual harassment training should include examples of transgender respect. Include insight from a transgender worker or from an LGBTQ rights group when forming workplace policies that affect transgender people.
Transgender people should not have to face harassment or discrimination at work or anyplace else. If you have been discriminated against on the job, we can help protect your rights. Please call the Philadelphia LGBTQ discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. We will be your advocates, working to ensure that your voice is heard. Please call 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.