Throwback Thursday Feature from Wednesday, August 30, 2017.
A new set of regulations and proposed legislation in California may be an indicator of what businesses across the country may be required to do to protect the rights of individuals who identify as transgender.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has issued new regulations that expand protection of transgender rights in the workplace, as well as individuals’ rights of gender expression and gender identity. Essentially, the new regulations prevent employers from asking about or requiring documentation from employees that pertain to their sex or gender, unless it is provided voluntarily for recordkeeping purposes.
In the state legislature, Senate Bill 396, The Transgender Work Opportunity Act, includes requirements that would expand sexual harassment training to cover issues of gender identity, gender expresses and sexual orientation. California state law requires that employers of companies with 50 or more employees provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training every two years.
With California expanding protections for protection of transgender rights in the workplace, as well as individuals’ rights of gender expression and gender identity, these issues should start becoming a larger part of HR discussions across the country. It’s only a matter of time before other states start similar discussions within regulatory agencies and legislative bodies. Forward-thinking companies may want to review their discrimination and sexual harassment policies to see how they might want to modify them to take transgender and gender identity issues into consideration.