While employment and labor law may seem like a staid and boring topic, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Labor and employment issues and laws are often in lockstep with the most contemporary and hot-button political and cultural issues of the times. Take for instance transgender rights and protections. While pundits and politicians are debating differences, employers in various states and municipalities are already implementing and complying with related employment laws and regulations.
As of January 1, 2018 ALL employers in California are required, as per Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code section 12935(a), 12920, 12921, 12926, 12940, 12943 and 12945, to post “The Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s “Transgender Rights in the Workplace” poster in a conspicuous location in the workplace.
The poster serves various functions, one of which is educational. It clearly defines transgender as “a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs form the sex they were assigned at birth.” Gender identity and gender expression are protected characteristics under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. This, of course, means that employers and businesses may not discriminate against someone because they identifyas transgender or gender non-conforming.
The mandatory employee notice advises that employees have a right to safe and appropriate restroom and locker room facilities and that “where possible, an employer should provide an easily accessible unisex single stall bathroom for use by any employee who desires increased privacy, regardless of the underlying reason.”
There’s a handy “FAQ For Employers” section that deals with questions about what an employer is allowed to ask (no questions designed to detect a person’s gender identity) and dress codes (fine as long as it’s enforced in a non-discriminatory manner). Additionally, resources are provided for employees that want to file a complaint with the DFEH.