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Presenters: Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality Lisa Mottet, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Transgender Civil Rights Project Moderator:

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Presentation on theme: "Presenters: Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality Lisa Mottet, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Transgender Civil Rights Project Moderator:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Presenters: Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality Lisa Mottet, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Transgender Civil Rights Project Moderator: Denise Sudell Office of Compliance Assistance and Planning Department of Labor

2 Terminology Gender Identity Transgender Transgender Man Transgender Woman

3 Transition: Some individuals will transition from living and working as one gender to another. These individuals often seek some form of medical treatment such as counseling, hormone therapy, electrolysis, and reassignment surgery. Some individuals, however, will not pursue some (or any) forms of medical treatment because of their age, medical condition, lack of funds, or other personal circumstances. Managers and supervisors should be aware that not all transgender individuals will follow the same pattern, but they all are entitled to the same consideration as they undertake the transition steps deemed appropriate for them, and should all be treated with dignity and respect.

4 Data on Discrimination National Transgender Discrimination Survey Methodology: n=6,456 Sept. 2008-Feb. 2009 Internet and Paper

5 Key Findings Discrimination was pervasive across all areas of life and all demographics Education Employment Housing Public Accommodations ID Documents Police/Jails Health Family

6 Key Findings Anti-Transgender Bias + Racism = Devastation

7 Key Findings Respondents lived in extreme poverty, nearly 4X more likely to earn <$10k

8 Key Findings Increased Suicide Attempts

9 Education

10 Employment 90% harassed, mistreated, discriminated against, or hid who they are to avoid it  26% lost a job  44% not hired  50% were harassed  57% delayed gender transition  71% hid their gender or gender transition

11  48% information shared about them to coworkers  45% referred to by wrong pronouns on purpose  41% inappropriate questions  22% denied access to appropriate bathrooms  9% physically and 8% sexually assaulted at work Employment


13 16% moved to underground economy Those who lost a job = double+ underground economy 4x homelessness more incarceration double+ HIV double+ drinking/drugs. Employment

14 Housing 19% have been refused a home or apartment 19% have been homeless at some point

15 ID Documents Only 59% were able to update their driver’s license Only 24% updated their birth certificate

16 Services 22% were denied equal treatment by a government agency or official 8% were denied equal treatment by a legal services clinic

17 State Protections LGBT LGB

18 State Protections Sex discrimination protections New York Massachusetts Disability discrimination protections Massachusetts Illinois Florida New Hampshire

19 Local Protections 141 Diverse Cities or Counties, including: Logan, UT Scranton, PA Jefferson County, KY Kansas City, MO Kalamazoo, MI Dallas, TX Baltimore, MD

20 Likely Manifestations of Discrimination at Centers Discrimination and disrespect by job counselors, trainers Anecdotal stories of discrimination: Transgender woman told to dress as her old gender in order to get a job because employers were probably uncomfortable with her gender identity Transgender man was denied access to the men’s room Inability to effectively serve transgender job-seekers in various ways Transgender job-seekers face rampant hiring discrimination from discriminatory employers Transgender job-seekers may have additional challenges 20

21 Additional Challenges Name/gender on ID documents are not updated Gaps/blemishes in work history due to discrimination Have lost or let go off past professional contacts and associations because of transition Changed careers because of transition Decreased confidence due to experiences of discrimination Never worked outside of street economy before History of criminal convictions History of substance abuse 21

22 Addressing Discrimination Recommendations originate from: Adapted from best practices from employers The Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative of San Francisco – a public/private partnership Office of Personnel Management “ Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Federal Workplace” 22

23 Basic Recommendations Have a written policy of non-discrimination that covers those who seek the services of the center, as well as employees Train all staff on the policy, including respectful treatment and the Golden Rule: treat transgender women like other women, and transgender men like other men Consider developing specialized staff to assist with the complex/nuanced challenges of seeking a job as a transgender person and intervene with employers committing hiring discrimination 23

24 Additional Recommendations  Find other ways to indicate a supportive environment for transgender job-seekers  Written policies on gender transition for employees of the center solve problems before they start 24

25 Confidentiality  Your policy should make confidentiality the default (for both personal and medical information)  Follow the preferences of the job-seeker on questions of confidentiality about their transgender status 25

26 Confidentiality Guidance from OPM: “[T] transition should be treated with as much sensitivity and confidentiality as any other … significant life experiences, such as hospitalization or marital difficulties. ” “Employing agencies… should advise employees not to spread information … [G]ossip and rumor-spreading in the workplace about gender identity are inappropriate. … [P]ersonal information about the employee should be considered confidential and should not be released without the employee's prior agreement.” 26

27 Names/Pronouns All staff should use the name and pronouns the job-seeker prefers In records, use the job-seeker’s preferred name (and gender) 27

28 Harassment Understand this can take different forms, including: Using wrong pronouns or old name on purpose Asking inappropriate questions about a person’s body and/or medical treatment Recommendation: Describing inappropriate behavior for staff is important, as they may not know 28

29 Restrooms Approximately 80% or more of employers are providing appropriate access Recommendations:  Access to restrooms at the center should be according to a person’s gender identity  Deal directly with, and train, staff who object or disagree with the policy 29

30 Restrooms Guidance from OPM: “For a transitioning employee, this means that, once he or she has begun living and working full-time in the gender that reflects his or her gender identity, agencies should allow access to restrooms and (if provided to other employees) locker room facilities consistent with his or her gender identity.” 30

31 Dress  Support job-seekers who dress in accord with their gender identity, and don’t tell them to dress against their gender identity  Be aware of employers that allow for gender- neutral dress options  Your specialized staff may be able to provide respectful advice to job-seekers who have questions related to gendered appearance for interviews 31

32 Name Changes/Legal  Provide information and assistance (or referrals) to job-seekers who need to update their name/gender on ID documents  Maintain referrals for other types of legal challenges, including updating criminal histories 32

33 Interview Support  Provide thoughtful advice to job-seekers about the pros and cons of being “out” during the interview  Provide thoughtful advice about how much personal information to share, or not share, especially related to gaps in employment or previous employment discrimination they faced  Respect a job-seeker’s decision to be out, or not out, even if it does not seem “wise” to you 33

34 Support Related to References  Help job-seekers determine which previous employers or individuals will serve as good references  Help job-seekers convert a presumed “bad” reference into a “good” reference  Help job-seekers identify or develop new references 34

35 Educating Listing Employers Suggest or require them to have a non-discrimination policy Explain benefits of training their staff, especially hiring officers Explain why transgender applicants may have work histories that have gaps, etc., and are often underemployed Explain the importance of confidentiality Ask them if they have positions where a criminal record is not a barrier to employment 35

36 Dealing with Discriminatory Employers When job-seekers report discrimination in the hiring process, consider: Contacting the employer and describing the apparent problematic behavior Reminding them that discrimination is illegal Explaining to them the benefits of hiring job-seekers who are underemployed due to discrimination Suggesting resources for educating themselves on eliminating hiring discrimination and maintaining fair workplaces

37 Working with Community Organizations Figure out what local/state transgender organizations exist and develop relationships with them (and help you identify trainers and other resources) Reach out about the services that the center offers, such as job training Support/partner in transgender job fairs, where employers are trained/educated in advance Support/partner in “know your rights” trainings

38 For More Information For technical assistance, contact Clair Farley at the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative: or 415-865-5632 For data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, go to For OPM’s Transgender Guidance, go to e.asp e.asp

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