The D.C. Office of Human Rights and the National LGBTQ Task Force released a guide on Monday to teach employers how to make transgender applicants and employees feel safe and included in their work environments.
The guide, titled “Valuing Transgender Applicants and Employees: A Best Practice Guide for Employers,” teaches employers how to create a safe and more inclusive environment for transgender applicants and current transgender employees. The guide claims the National Transgender Discrimination Survey shows that 90 percent of transgenders have been harassed in their work place and 47 percent said that how they identified according to their gender affected if they were fired, hired or passed up for a promotion or not.
The guide gives specific steps on how to treat and accommodate transgenders in the work place. In a section titled “Best Practice in the Workplace,” the guide encourage employers to “maintain confidentiality, use proper names and pronouns, ensure access to restrooms and other facilities, implement a gender neutral dress code and to address challenges with other employees and coworkers.”
The brochure emphasizes the need for a “gender neutral” dress code so as to make transgenders feel more comfortable. Employers should not instate a dress policy that ask women to wear dresses and skirts and for men to wear slacks. As well, if an employee is uncomfortable with a fellow transgender employee or refuses to call a transgender employee by the correct name or pronoun, the guide suggests the employer should “work with and/or reprimand the person expressing the discomfort and causing the issue, not with the transgender employee.”
In the guideline for the hiring section, the guide encourages employers to “use proactive methods to uncover discrimination, ensure interviews are welcome, ensure fair background checks and avoid irrelevant questions when checking references.”
In case of confusion,the guide also provides sample scenarios to demonstrate how to properly apply these practices.
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