Something that can be difficult for some people to cope with is seeing a coworker or employee gender-transition when they’re a part of the workplace team. Despite the fact that this individual is just trying to live their truth, they may face many challenges from those around them.
It’s important for employers to be cautious about what they do if one of their employees is transitioning, because not supporting them could result in claims of discrimination. New Jersey law prohibits anyone discriminating based on a person’s gender identity or expression.
How can you better support a worker who is transitioning?
If one of your employee is transitioning, there are three important steps you can take to make them feel comfortable in the workplace. These include:
- Listening to what they feel comfortable with doing and what they want
- Address pronouns and name changes accordingly
- Making time for your employee’s medical care
Here is more on each of these important tips.
- Listen to your employee
The first thing you need to do is to talk to your employee about their transition and what they are or are not comfortable with in the workplace. It is up to them to let you know whom they want to inform, if they want to change their name, how they want to be addressed and other information.
- Address name and pronoun changes
The next thing to do is to make sure you’re using the person’s correct pronoun as well as their new name, if they changed it. This is a very simple change, and it’s one you should encourage everyone in the workplace who knows about the transition to abide by.
- Make time for medical care
Finally, make time for your worker’s medical care. Many people who are transitioning have gender reassignment surgery, so you should be aware of this and that they may seek time off to have those surgeries performed.
These are three things you can do to help your employee who is going through a transition. Taking this step with them will help, and it will protect you against liability and claims of discrimination.