Transgender people face staggering amounts of discrimination in the workplace – but what can you do if it’s happened to you, and do you have any legal recourse? This guide explains transgender discrimination in the workplace and your options if an employer has discriminated against you; you may need to talk to an LGBT rights discrimination lawyer.
Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace
The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy found disturbing trends after studying a number of statistics on transgender discrimination in the workplace. For example:
- 15 percent to 43 percent of gay and transgender workers have experienced some form of discrimination on the job.
- 8 percent to 17 percent of gay and transgender workers report being passed over for a job or even fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- 10 percent to 28 percent of gay and transgender workers have received a negative performance evaluation or were passed over for a promotion because they were gay or transgender.
- 7 percent to 41 percent of gay and transgender workers were verbally or physically abused or had their workspace vandalized.
- 12 percent to 30 percent of straight workers have witnessed discrimination in the workforce perpetrated against members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Transgender individuals tend to encounter discrimination and harassment at work at higher rates than gay and lesbian individuals do. In fact, around 90 percent of transgender individuals have encountered some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job – and that number is unacceptable, but it highlights how pervasive the problem is.
Examples of Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace
Check out these common examples of transgender discrimination in the workplace. If any of them hit too close to home, you may have a discrimination case – and you may want to speak with a Los Angeles employment lawyer as soon as possible.
Related: What is transgender discrimination?
Failing to Hire a Transgender Person
As a transgender person, you show up to a job interview and the hiring manager asks if you’re a man or a woman and seems surprised at your answer. The hiring manager makes an offensive remark about your gender expression, and says that you can’t work for the company. That’s obviously a case of gender discrimination – but not all cases are that obvious.
Limiting a Transgender Employee’s Interaction With Customers
If your boss moves you from a customer-facing position because customers may be “uncomfortable” with your gender expression or identity, you may have a discrimination case on your hands. It’s not legal for an employer to change your employment because of your gender expression or identity.
Prohibiting an Employee From Dressing or Appearing in Accordance With Their Gender Identity
An employer cannot tell you that you must dress or look like a man or woman. Sometimes employers also try to apply a dress code more strictly for transgender individuals, but that’s not legal, either.
Denying a Transgender Person Access to the Appropriate Restroom
Your employer cannot tell you which restroom to use. You are legally allowed to use the restroom that matches your gender identity. An employer can’t force you to use a gender-neutral bathroom, either (unless the only restroom facilities in your place of employment are gender-neutral).
Demanding That a Transgender Person Perform Work That Doesn’t Correspond to Their Gender
Your employer isn’t allowed to require a transgender man to work as a woman or a transgender woman to work as a man. For example, if you’re a male police officer, you cannot be told to pat down female suspects.
Requiring a Transgender Employee to Provide Documentation on Gender Status Before Recognizing Gender Identity
Your employer cannot require you to produce a birth certificate or a court-ordered gender change before your employer will respect your identity.
What to Do if You Experience Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace
If you have been discriminated against as a transgender person, you may be entitled to file an employment discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. You should consult with an attorney about your situation – your lawyer will be able to give you case-specific guidance, which may include notifying your supervisor that you’re experiencing discrimination at work (or notifying someone higher up the chain).
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace?
Call our office at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below to schedule your free consultation with an experienced, compassionate and knowledgeable gender discrimination attorney now. We’ll discuss your situation and help you figure out the next step.