Employers' Best Practices on Transgender Transitioning in the Workplace


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Employers need to consider how to deal with a person that transitions from male to female or female to make while still working for the same company. There are various aspects that the employer will need to deal with, and this will affect how the workers and management determine how to proceed with similar events.

The scope of practices in the workplace with an employer when facing a transgender transition often may include education for other employees, a seminar about harassment in the workplace and similar issues that need to reduce possible violence or discrimination. It is important to keep the building and all workers within in a peaceful and tenable atmosphere. To ensure this, the employer may need to attend certain conferences to increase his or her awareness of what is necessary to provide the best possible practices in the company. Consulting with a lawyer could also increase his or her knowledge in accomplishing this feat.

Education in Transgender Transition

The employer may need to set up education seminars and meetings so that all employees are aware of how to interact and work with someone transitioning from one gender to another. When attempting to progress through the best possible practices, the employer will ensure all employees sit in on mandatory seminars. The education in these matters may include information on what the company considers the best behavior in interactions with someone who is transsexual, a person engaging in cross-dressing, a person with androgynous features and someone that does not conform to gender labels. This type of education may prevent litigation later or violent outbursts for those with strong religious or spiritual beliefs.

Avoiding Discrimination

By educating employees, the company may avoid possible harassment and discrimination suits against the entire business or against a single or multiple other employees. It is important that the business entity seeks to promote well-being among the workers in the building and to keep a peaceful atmosphere within the company. There are some statewide or federal guidelines that the employer could institute to protect transitioning employees from violence or abuse. Some tips may come from the Human Resources department. Seeking legal assistance to prevent lawsuits is also essential. The employer may need to institute othe5r policies such as gender-neutral restrooms and more neutral colors in the office.

Integration is important. To avoid discrimination cases that the business may lose, the employer needs to ensure relations are civil at the minimum. Retaining employees and reducing turnover is also important for financial and reputation reasons. If the transitioning person is the best for a specific job, he or she will need to receive a promotion or transfer to that department. Diversifying through additional hires that promote a wider range of employees is beneficial in these situations. Compliance with all employment laws may also show that the company is attempting to adhere to all legal structures.

The HR Departmentís Role

In order to navigate the uncertain waters of the workplace, a person in transition between genders may need help through the HR department. There are certain changes that will occur for the individual employee, and he or she will need support both at home and at work. Those working in HR may need to explain the situation, provide details to coworkers that may help the circumstances and guide employers to the correct action. Keeping a stable job may increase success with the transition and ensure an income throughout the process. This starts with the HR employees and a supporting peaceful environment.

By mitigating the possible damage discrimination may cause, the HR employees may need to initiate a program to educate and inform along with the employer. Often, these circumstances begin with this department, spread to the employer and then trickle down to the employees. The HR workers may provide support and increase the protections of legal rules. This includes anti-discrimination policies and watching possible threats that may develop in the office. The HR department may need to contact a lawyer to ensure that no legal violations occur and that the entire company is in adherence to the state and federal regulations. Incorporating protections, policies and initiatives to increase awareness and a beneficial working relationship is important.

Lawyers in Transgender Transitions

If any legal concerns arise for the individual that progresses through his or her transition, it could lead to litigation against the company. By first communicating with the employer, it is possible to mitigate the damage and prevent future incursions of discrimination or harassment.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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