Despite the increased awareness of the issue within the last decade, many California transgender employees continue to experience discrimination. As revealed by the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 26 percent of transgender workers lose their jobs due to bias and nearly half of them experienced harassment on the job.
These numbers are unacceptable, but they also serve as a warning to other trans workers that not all companies may accept their gender identity. When applying for or starting a new position, transgender workers should prepare themselves for potential retaliation in the following moments:
The beginning of the job
Unfortunately, some companies let the worker know about their personal biases right away. Some employers may question them about their gender during the interview. This is inappropriate and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as it is illegal for employers to question or discriminate a person’s gender during the hiring process. Even if the employer does accept the worker, some of the coworkers on the job may not be the kind welcoming party they were hoping for.
Coming out on the job
Arguably one of the most difficult tasks a transgender person must do is to disclose their identity to their families and coworkers. If a worker decides to do this, their coworkers and employer may not want to help them in this transitional period. Many workers who have come out on the job have experienced workplace harassment and lost their jobs in the process. If the score on a worker’s performance reviews drop or they are fired shortly after their disclosure, they might be signs that the employer isn’t accepting of their new status.
Change in staff
Plenty of workplaces shift employers, managers and coworkers around all the time. While some changes are for the better, others could place transgender workers in dangerous scenarios. The company might end up switching one who is accepting of transgender people to someone who constantly claims they have a mental illness and won’t stop bugging the trans employee.
Despite California’s strict employment laws, many transgender workers still struggle to thrive in their workplaces due to discrimination. If there are obvious signs that bias played a role in their mistreatment or firing from the company, they should contact attorneys with experience in employment law to help them recover from damages.