On February 17, 2016, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) issued new guidelines on transgender rights in the workplace. While most of these guidelines are common sense based on existing law, there are some concrete recommendations in the DFEH’s new brochure, including:
1. Employers should not ask about an applicant’s or employee’s marital status, a spouse’s name, or the relation of household members to one another.
2. Employers also should not ask about an applicant’s or employee’s body or whether they plan to have surgery.
3. Employers cannot deny an employee the right to dress in a manner suitable for that employee’s gender identity.
4. An employer that utilizes a dress code must enforce that dress code uniformly and in a non-discriminatory manner. In other words, a transgendered woman must be allowed to wear the same uniform as a non-transgendered woman.
5. Employees have the right to utilize a restroom that corresponds to that employee’s gender identity.
An employee does not have to complete any particular step in the transition process in order to be protected by the California Fair Employment & Housing Act (“FEHA”).
You can find the DFEH’s new guidelines here.