Workplace protections for transgender employees are real, but many trans employees may face challenges in having those protections feel meaningful and relevant.
In 2020, the Supreme Court decided Bostock v. Clayton County. In that case, they held that Title VII of the workplace protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act also protect transgender individuals from discriminatory actions in the workplace. This means that transgender employees are legally protected against:
- Being fired or denied a promotion for being trans
- Retaliatory actions for being “out” at work
- Harassment in the workplace based on their identity (such as “jokes” about transgender people and repeated and intentional use of the wrong name or pronouns)
For more on legal workplace protections for transgender employees, and the recourse available, read this explainer on the topic.
To be blunt, the current moment is a time when the transgender community is most-often discussed not as a group of Americans who have contributed a great deal to our country (and who have value regardless of what they “bring”), but as a faceless wedge used to try to make political gains.
Recently, the world participated in the International Transgender Day of Visibility, a holiday started by transgender activist Rachel Crandall. The original impetus was to create a day where the accomplishments of trans people were celebrated while also acknowledging the work that must continue the path to equality. Too often, trans individuals were only discussed as a cautionary tale with a tragic ending.
Our firm was proud to participate in the International Transgender Day of Visibility. Transgender individuals exist, and they exist as our siblings, friends, coworkers, parents, colleagues, citizens. We are heartened that more and more Americans are recognizing that there are trans people in their lives, and that those individuals are becoming more comfortable in being their full selves. We can also acknowledge that not every trans person wants or is able to be “visible”.
Undoubtedly, progress has been made. Acknowledging that progress is good – many people have worked hard and sacrificed greatly to achieve it.
It is essential to re-commit to recognizing and understanding how each of us can contribute to an equitable and safe world for trans people. In our world, The Noble Law is committed to supporting transgender individuals who are dealing with discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in the workplace. If you or someone you know is dealing with this situation or would like to know more about workplace protections for transgender employees, consider reaching out to our team by scheduling a consultation here, or by calling our closest office.
North Carolina – Triangle Area: 919-301-9814
North Carolina – Charlotte Area: 704-397-3966
South Carolina: 864-713-9828
New York: 866-440-7169