While corporate America has been gradually expanding benefits and services for LGBT employees, transgender workers are still overlooked in this push for diversity. Many transgender Americans still hide their gender identity at the office out of fear of discrimination and harassment. Yet, some companies are taking charge and leading the way when it comes to expanding trans-inclusive benefits. With more inclusive policies, these companies are expanding their labor pool and increasing worker satisfaction; positive outcomes that may inspire other companies to follow suit.
Obstacles for Transgender Employees
Unemployment among transgender and non-binary employees across the nation is currently around 16 percent, which is slightly higher than LGBT workers overall and significantly higher than the national average of 4 percent. Several obstacles prevent transgender workers from accessing benefits available to other LGBT employees. The current administration recently argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the law prohibiting sex discrimination, does not apply to transgender individuals. Only a few states have policies protecting sexual identity and orientation in the workplace.
One Silicon Valley company has embraced trans-inclusive policies and attracted impressive talent as a result. Global tech giant, Intel Corporation, began rolling out health benefits for transgender employees in the early 2000’s as an extension of their existing LGBT resource group. In 2015, the company launched a $300 million investment in a diversity in technology initiative, with the goal of taking the company to full representation by 2020. The effort focuses on employing more women and other underrepresented minorities. In 2016, Intel began covering all gender confirmation procedures in alignment with standards set by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
Progress Being Made
While American companies are slow to adopt trans-inclusive benefits, progress is still being made. In 2016, only 8 percent of human resource officials across the country said their health plans covered gender confirmation procedures. That percentage jumped to 22 percent last year. The number of companies providing mental-health coverage and prescription drug therapy also rose significantly over the past few years.
Employers are just beginning to see not only the moral value in being more inclusive, but are realizing it makes financial sense too. The cost of a gender confirmation procedure for a single employee is much less than other common procedures. While companies like Intel are not only embracing diversity, but also investing in it, millions of American workplaces are not as quick to embrace transgender employees. The law protects workers in the United States from sexual discrimination.
Middletown Employment Discrimination Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Help LGBT Employees Fight for Justice
If you suspect you have been overlooked for a job, passed over for a raise or promotion, or wrongfully terminated based on your gender identity or LGBT status, you may have a valid discrimination claim. Middletown employment discrimination lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. protect the rights of LGBT workers.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.