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New CA Regulations: Transgender Identity and Expression in the Workplace

Posted on in Employment

San Jose employment law attorneys, transgender identity, transgender expression, workplace regulations, employer discriminationCalifornia employers should be aware that as of July 1, 2017 there are several new state regulations on that books that pertain to transgender identity and expression in the workplace. Under state law it was already illegal to harass or discriminate against transgender employees (or prospective employees) based on the fact that they identify as transgender. However, the new regulations are aimed at expanding the anti-transgender identity discrimination protections already contained in California’s Fair Employment and House Act and are as follows below.

Restrooms in the Workplace

Under the new regulations, employers in California must allow employees to use the restroom facilities that correspond with the gender identity or gender expression that he/she embraces. Additionally, employers are forbidden from requesting proof of an employee’s gender or sex in order to use a certain restroom.

The new regulations also address restroom signage and require single occupancy restroom facilities in California offices to be marked with a gender-neutral sign.

Utilizing an Employee’s Preferred Name/Pronoun

The new regulations additionally stipulate that employers in California must honor an employee’s request to be referred to by a preferred name and/or gender pronoun (even if they request to be referred to by only gender neutral pronouns). However, employers are still allowed to use an employee’s legal name and their gender as it is noted on a government issued form of identification if they must do so in order to meet a legal obligation.

Transitioning

The term “transitioning” is now defined by the Fair Employment and Housing Act as “a process some transgender people go through to begin living as the gender with which they identify, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth,” and it is illegal to discriminate against an employee (or prospective employee) who is thought to be transitioning, is transitioning, or has transitioned.

Requesting Gender Information

Under the new regulations, employers in California are not allowed to request documentation or inquire about an employee’s (or a prospective employee’s) gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sex as a condition of employment. However, it should be noted that there are limited exceptions to this rule. For example, employers can inquire about an employee’s gender if having a particular gender is a bona fide occupational qualification. Additionally, employers who have affirmative action recordkeeping requirements can request job applicants to self-identify their gender on a voluntary basis.

Dress Codes

The new regulations prohibit California employers from insisting that an employee conform to a dress code standard that is inconsistent with their gender expression or identity, unless the employer can show that a business necessity requires such conformity.

Contact Us Today for Professional Help

If you believe that a California employer has discriminated against you based on your gender identity, or if you are a California employer who has been accused of illegal discrimination, the experienced San Jose employment law attorneys of Jachimowicz Law Group are here to help. Reach out to us today to learn how we can be of assistance in your case.

Source:

https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/legal-records-and-reports/laws-and-regulations/

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