Workplaces evolving on their views of transgender workers

Members of Tennessee's transgender community could face discrimination in the working world. According to a 2015 study from the National Center for Transgender Identity, 25 percent of respondents said that being transgender caused problems at work. Specifically, those respondents said that they were denied a promotion or fired because of their orientation. To help transgender individuals find work, a job fair has been held by MetroHealth hospital in Cleveland.

While the event hosted by MetroHealth was open to anyone, it was promoted as an event for trans individuals. Companies such as Starbucks and Progressive Insurance were there to recruit candidates. A human resources employee from one company said that it was looking to find a more diverse pool of job applicants. She said that going to events such as this one helps them achieve that goal.

Although trans workers may suffer discrimination while looking for work, some companies are changing their policies. According to data from Human Rights Campaign, 85 percent of businesses on the Fortune 500 list have anti-discrimination policies relating to gender identity. This is up from about 50 percent in 2012. Furthermore, 58 percent of companies on the Fortune 500 list offer benefits such as hormone therapy or surgery to complete a gender realignment.

Workers who experience harassment based on their gender identity may be victims of employment discrimination. Harassment could include jokes, unwanted physical interactions or being denied opportunities to advance within a company. An attorney may review witness statements or those from managers to determine if discrimination occurred. The contents of emails, social media posts or text messages could also be used to determine if discrimination occurred. If it did, a worker may be entitled to compensation from their employer.

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