Transgender Rights in the California Workplace

February 28, 2018
Employee Rights File

The state of California’s newest law requires all California employers to post the “Transgender Rights in the Workplace” poster starting at the beginning of this year. The poster must be displayed in a prominent and accessible area along with all other work notices. Employers must comply with the topics addressed on this poster. If you are an employee of a California employer, these following three key topics will be addressed by this new poster.

The Definition of Transgender

The “Transgender Rights in the Workplace” poster helps clear up misunderstandings revolving around the following terms:

  • Transgender: someone whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned;
  • Gender expression: a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior whether stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth or not;
  • Gender transition: Social transition is the process of socially aligning one’s gender to the internal sense of self. Physical transition, on the other hand, involves the person changing themselves with medical treatments to physically align with their internal sense of self.
  • Gender identity: a person’s internal understanding of their gender.

It is important for employers to understand these definitions, especially when considering how it may affect the workplace. For example, regardless of what step of social or physical transition an employee may be in, that employee is still protected under California law. An employer may not treat or discriminate against an employee upon the completion of a transition step either.

Bathroom Rights

Under California law, all employees have the right to a safe, adequate restroom or locker room facilities. The also means all employees have a right to utilize the restroom or locker facility that corresponds with their gender identity or gender expression, regardless of their assigned sex at birth. Employers should provide alternatives as well to respect the privacy of their employees. This could include providing locks on stall doors or shower curtains. This does not mean, however, that an employer can require an employee to use a particular facility. Further, all single-user toilet facilities in a business, state-run facility, or public place must be identified as all-gender unless exempted by state law.

Dress Code

If an employer requires a dress code, it must be implemented in a non-discriminatory way. Unless the employer demonstrates business necessity, the employee is allowed to dress in accordance to their gender identity or expression. An employee who is transgender or gender-nonconforming cannot be held to a different standard of dress than other employees

If you’ve been discriminated against in the workplace or your rights are not being met under these new laws, contact an attorney today. The experienced lawyers at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond and Goodwin are knowledgeable in California employment laws and can help you with your work discrimination case.