The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently ruled that transgender employees are protected under the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits job discrimination based on race, sex, religion and national origin. The EEOC holds that discrimination based on an employee's transgender status is essentially gender-based discrimination, and therefore unlawful.
Whether a company has transgender employees or not, employers should be careful not to stereotype based on any employee's gender. These general guidelines can help ensure that gender-based procedures are not potentially violating Title VII.
- Employees should not be expected to behave a certain way based on gender stereotypes.
- Dress codes requiring females to wear skirts or dresses are not recommended since they would require women to conform to a specific idea of how they should look.
- Don't assume that certain positions within the company can only be filled by specific genders.
If faced with gender-based questions at your company, please contact Nextep's HR Department for advisement.