__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


TABLE OF CONTENTS MISSION

2

WELCOME

3

SECTION I: WHY YOU SHOULD PURSUE WORKPLACE EQUALITY

4

SECTION II: GETTING STARTED: EVALUATING YOUR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES AND CULTURE IS MY ORGANIZATIONS LGBT-FRIENDLY TEN EASY STEPS TO BECOMING LGBT-FRIENDLY SECTION III: BUILDING A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE ORGANIZATION L-G-B-T WHAT? RECRUITING AND HIRING LGBT EMPLOYEES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 101 FOR LGBT EMPLOYEES ATTRACTING AND RETAINING TOP TALENT: SAME SEX PARTNERSHIP BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION TRANSGENDER AND GENDER-TRANSITIONING EMPLOYEES SECTION IV: BEYOND THE ORGANIZATION ENGAGING WITH THE LGBT COMMUNITY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS APPENDIX A APPENDIX B

7 8 11 12 13 15 17 19 21 23 24 25 26 26

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 1


E

Q

U

A

L

I

T

Y

I

L

L

I

N

O

I

OUR MISSION EQUALITY ILLINOIS BUILDS A BETTER ILLINOIS BY ADVANCING EQUAL TREATMENT AND SOCIAL JUSTICE THROUGH EDUCATION, ADVOCACY AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE LGBT COMMUNITY.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 2

S


WELCOME Dear Colleagues: This guide aims to highlight the best practices of leading companies with regard to creating a welcoming and affirming workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. The past few years have brought numerous victories for the LGBT community, from winning marriage equality in our own state to federal recognition of same-sex couples. While these advances have been crucial in creating a fair world for those who identify as LGBT, there are many additional steps to creating a workplace environment where LGBT employees can flourish. This requires taking affirmative steps to create an inclusive and supportive community – both within your workplace and in society at large. Employees’ commitment and productivity at work are directly connected to the employer’s commitment to its employees. This manual is a starting point, not a destination. The practices that your workplace eventually implements will be the result of internal discussions and adaptations specific to your business. As you consider these practices, Equality Illinois is committed to supporting you along the way. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, suggestions or requests for sample materials. Together, we can build a better Illinois.

Sincerely yours,

Bernard Cherkasov, Esq. Chief Executive Officer

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 3


E

Q

U

A

L

I

T

Y

I

SECTION I:

L

L

I

N

O

I

S

WHY YOU SHOULD PURSUE WORKPLACE EQUALITY


IT’S THE LAW In Illinois, the Human Rights Act expressly prohibits workplace discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation, which includes gender-related identity. Discrimination includes unequal terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to: hiring, selection, promotion, transfer, pay, tenure, and discipline. The Illinois Department of Human Rights investigates charges of discrimination for all complaints against employers with at least fifteen employees and all cases, regardless of the number of employees, of sexual harassment or retaliation, where the employer is a public contractor and where the employer is a unit of State government. As of the date of this publication, at the federal level, no law expressly prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits treating an applicant or employee unfavorably because of that person’s sex. Despite there being no federal law, LGBT workers are protected by a patchwork of existing legislation and court decisions. It is an open question whether or not Title VII prohibits sexual orientation and transgender workplace discrimination. Federal courts have to date not universally found that such claims are covered by Title VII, however some have found that transgender workers are protected by Title VII. Further, in 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held that gender identity discrimination - discrimination against a transgender person - was a per se form of sex discrimination and, therefore, also barred by Title VII. The EEOC has also allowed sex discrimination claims by lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals, including allegations of sexual harassment or other kinds of sex discrimination, such as adverse actions taken because of the person’s non-conformance with sex-stereotypes, and at least one EEOC Commissioner has expressly found that Title VII protects workers based on sexual orientation. Finally, in December 2014, the Department of Justice issued a memorandum stating its position that Title VII protects transgender employees from workplace discrimination. Further, on April 10, 2015, Executive Order 13672 went into effect. This rule prevents the federal government and federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, sexual orientation and gender identity will be considered under affirmative action programs for contractors and subcontractors of the federal government. Because of EEOC interpretations, federal regulation, and extant state law, it is best to be mindful of possible discriminatory action.

IT’S GOOD FOR BUSINESS Adapting best practices decreases the risk of legal liability and litigation. And the benefits do not stop there:

BETTER PERFORMANCE. Exceeding minimum legal requirements and creating an affirmatively welcoming workplace that respects diversity leads to increased business performance. DiversityInc selects the 50 employers with best diversity practices each year and tracks their stock performance. The DiversityInc Top 50 list consistently outperforms the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 on a one-, three-, and five-year basis.

MORE IDEAS LEAD TO IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY. Having a strong stance of inclusion and incorporating it into your practices demonstrates to your employees that you are serious about retaining top talent. Embracing the value in diverse backgrounds brings different approaches to leadership and problem solving and increases the span of ideas brought forth to the table. When employees feel comfortable and supported, employee productivity increases.

CONSUMER LOYALTY. An overwhelming number of LGBT consumers tend to be loyal to organizations that they know are friendly to the LGBT community, even if less friendly organizations are cheaper or more convenient. Eighty-one percent of LGBT Americans are likely to consider brands that support non-profits or causes important to them, while 88 percent of lesbian and gay adults and 70 percent of heterosexuals are likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits for all of their employees, including lesbians and gays. According to Community Marketing, Inc., 3 out of 4 LGBT individuals have changed brands when a company has exhibited pro-LGBT support. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 5


INDUSTRY COMPETITIVENESS. Affirmative LGBT inclusion is becoming the norm throughout Illinois. For example, according to Equality Illinois’s annual survey of Illinois practicing law firms, 100 percent of responding firms had an EEO policy or nondiscrimination policy that expressly included sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. And 92 percent of responding firms reported having a diversity council or workgroup with a mission that included LGBT issues. The survey also found that: • 50% of responding firms already had gender transition guidelines, a recently-recognized policy need • 89% of responding firms actively recruit/hire LGBT lawyers • 74% of responding firms offer diversity training that includes sexual orientation and/or gender identity • 71% of responding firms have an LGBT affinity group • 90% of responding firms financially support LGBT organizations • 80% of responding firms financial sponsor LGBT community events • 71% of responding firms specifically market to the LGBT community

CONSUMER DEMAND. Numerous polls throughout 2013 and 2014 consistently showed that over 54 percent of residents in Illinois support marriage for same-sex couples, while only 29 percent opposed marriage equality. A recent Pew poll found that 9 out of 10 say they know someone who is gay or lesbian. This shift in consumer attitude means that businesses that do not affirmatively create a supportive environment for their LGBT employees are seen as out-of-touch and less relevant. Doing the right thing has never been so easy.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 6


E

Q

U

A

L

I

T

Y

I

L

L

SECTION II:

I

N

O

I

S

GETTING STARTED: EVALUATING YOUR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES AND CULTURE


CHAPTER ONE IS MY ORGANIZATION LGBT-FRIENDLY? EVALUATING WORKPLACE CULTURE LGBT individuals face a wide variety of issues in the workplace. Should I come out to my employer in my interview, or should I wait until after I have the job? Is it okay to come out at all? Can I bring my partner to social events? Will my partner be covered under my employer’s health care policy? What are the organization’s requirements for providing partner/spouse benefits? Does my organization have gender transition guidelines? These questions illustrate some of the issues that LGBT employees face in the workplace. While these issues touch on many different areas of employment policy and workplace culture, when left unaddressed, these issues all raise obstacles to the full inclusion of LGBT employees into the workplace culture. In this increasingly competitive market, leading organizations know that respecting and valuing diversity in the workplace counts when it comes to attracting customers and recruiting talent. A starting point for improving the workplace environment is an evaluation of the organization’s existing employment policies and practices. From there, each organization can craft a roadmap tailored to the areas that need improvement in order to achieve LGBT equality in the workplace. This chapter sets forth a detailed list of the employment policies and practices that should be evaluated. Keep in mind that while written policies are easy to evaluate, unwritten practices and attitudes are not. A thorough evaluation process must include conversations with directors, officers and staff. A company-wide survey or forum of discussion on issues facing LGBT employees may be insightful. ❏ Evaluating the organization’s non-discrimination or equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy is the easiest place to get started. Does the non-discrimination or EEO policy expressly include sexual orientation and gender identity classifications? While federal law does not require the inclusion of these classifications, including sexual orientation and gender identity classifications in these policies is crucial to fostering equal treatment in the workplace. When an organization has a written nondiscrimination or EEO policy, the group’s values are codified and its commitment to enforcing those values is made apparent to current and prospective employees. A written nondiscrimination or EEO policy also sets a clear standard for everyone working at the organization. Similarly, an organization may consider modifying its existing EEO employee self-identification forms to allow employees to self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. What if our organization does not have a written non-discrimination or EEO policy? Then it is time to draft and publish a policy. In Equality Illinois’s Annual Law Firm Survey, 100 percent of responding firms had an EEO policy or non-discrimination policy that expressly included sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. See Appendix A for a sample model EEO policy. ❏ Evaluating the organization’s dress code policy. From suits to business casual attire, dress code policy may vary from business to business and reflect the unique workplace attitude of a company. It is entirely legal to require gender-specific uniform or dress standards in the workplace. However, an organization’s dress code policy may be a sensitive issue for transgender, gender-transitioning, and gender non-conforming employees. If your organization has a gender-specific dress code policy, then you will want to respect the transgender employee’s gender identity in enforcing that policy by allowing them to dress in accordance with their gender identity. One option is to implement a more gender-neutral dress code policy for everyone. For example, requiring that employees be dressed in business attire is more gender neutral than specifically requiring suits for men and skirts for women. ❏ Evaluating language used in employer communications. In the workplace, what we say matters as much as how we say it. If the goal is an inclusive workplace, then organizations should use inclusive language. For example, if your organization plans a social event, consider using the term “partner” along with the term “spouse” on invitations and related materials (or, do not assume that anyone is married - use “significant other”). This simple gesture goes a long way in communicating to lesbian and gay colleagues that their loved ones are also included. Remember, the use of inappropriate personal pronouns to refer to a transgender person is never correct. If you are not sure which pronoun is appropriate, then it is perfectly acceptable to ask. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 8


❏ Evaluating the organization’s marketing materials. Does your organization have any materials that are designed for LGBT student recruitment or for soliciting LGBT customers? There are many different ways to reach out to LGBT prospective employees, customers, and the community through marketing. Some of the most successful marketing techniques include publicizing the company’s LGBT employees, identifying services provided to the LGBT community, highlighting sensitivity to LGBT issues, and highlighting diversity initiatives that are LGBT inclusive. ❏ Evaluating the organization’s employee, EEO, diversity and inclusion training and other materials. Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to create an inclusive and sensitive workplace is through training and internal communications. Does your organization include LGBT issues in employment EEO and/or diversity training? Does your organization do training on topics related to diversity and inclusion? Are diversity training sessions mandatory? Have you considered implicit bias training? There are numerous LGBT organizations in Illinois, such as Seyfarth Shaw At Work, that can offer diversity training sessions on LGBT issues geared towards your company. ❏ Evaluating criteria for funding community organizations. Ensuring that your organization’s outreach includes financial or volunteer support to LGBT-based events, organizations and community is a great way to reach out and show your support. If your workplace has a policy of not contributing to 501(c)(4) lobbying organizations, then consider the fact that a majority of LGBT 501(c)(4) organizations have 501(c)(3) educational affiliates that could use your contributions. For example, the Equality Illinois Education Project, a 501(c)(3) organization, educates the citizens of Illinois about a wide array of LGBT issues with a non-political, non-partisan approach. ❏ Adopting transition guidelines for transgender and gender-transitioning employees. An employee transitioning on the job faces a lot of challenges both inside and outside of the workplace. To ensure that your organization is diverse and inclusive, adopt transition guidelines that give reassurance, guidance, and support to transgender employees . Guidelines will also ensure that the workplace suffers no disruption and continues to operate efficiently throughout an employee’s transition. ❏ Evaluating the organization’s policies and practices for transgender and gender-transitioning employees use of employer facilities, including restrooms. Some organizations might not have policies in place that make it clear that transgender employees may use the restroom with which they identify. By putting such a policy in place and communicating it effectively to employees, you can ensure that transitioning and transgender employees are not unintentionally excluded from the workplace. It is also important to keep in mind that to the extent a business is considered a “public accommodation,” under Illinois law it is required to allow transgender individuals to use employer facilities consistent with their gender identification. ❏ Evaluating the organization’s benefits and insurance policies. Does your organization offer equal benefits to all employees, including married/civil union partners? Or to partners who are not married or in a non-civil union relationship? What are your organization’s requirements for establishing same-sex relationship status? Offering equal benefits for the same-sex partners of employees is crucial if a company is to be truly LGBT-inclusive. It is a matter of basic fairness to extend to same-sex partners and spouses the same benefits that opposite-sex spouses of employees at the company receive. The law also requires it, in many instances. The bottom line is that equal partnership benefits are a must-have if your company desires to recruit the top-talent in your market. How workplaces decide who qualifies for same-sex partner benefits may vary. Illinois recognizes marriages and civil unions for same-sex couples. Organizations are free to set their own policies for verifying a couple’s status. However, the requirements for civil union spouses or same-sex spouses cannot be more stringent than the proof required for married couples. The best evidence of a committed relationship would be a certificate of marriage or civil union from a jurisdiction that offers such unions. Because of the persistent social inequality and the “outing” that comes with getting married, some couples are holding off on getting married. Respecting their difficult decision, many organizations continue to offer equal benefits to same-sex “domestic partners.” To that end, some organizations require registration in domestic partnership registries in cities, counties, or states that have them. Alternatively, other employers require an affidavit of relationship from the employee. These considerations are especially important for employees from out-of-state, those that have not married yet in Illinois, or those who have not yet married for fear of coming out. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 9


The insurance plan that your organization oers is an important issue for transgender and gender-transitioning employees. Your organization’s insurance plan should cover treatment for gender identity related treatment, a recently recognized insurance benefit. Including this coverage is often much less expensive than anticipated. When selecting an insurance plan with gender identity-related treatment coverage, it is important to be certain that your organization knows what specific treatment is available, and what an employee must do to access that treatment. An employer can also demonstrate its commitment to inclusion by extending healthcare coverage to same-sex spouses of employees and by offering domestic partnership benefits. While self-insured health plans in Illinois are not currently required to provide such benefits, voluntarily providing these benefits helps create an LGBT-inclusive environment. Additionally, an employer can foster an inclusive and welcoming environment, by providing/extending adoption benefits and adoption leave to all employees regardless of marital status. ***** After evaluating current policies and practices, each organization will have to decide on a timeline for implementing changes necessary to become more inclusive and welcoming for its LGBT employees. Some of the above-illustrated policy changes and initiatives will take organizations a longer amount of time to implement. What follows in the next chapter are ten easy steps that every organization can take right away to create a more LGBT-friendly work environment.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 10


CHAPTER TWO TEN EASY STEPS TO BECOMING LGBT-FRIENDLY Now that you have evaluated your organization’s current policies and practices to determine where your organization needs improvement in order to have an LGBT-friendly workplace, the question arises of where to get started. Some of the different policy changes and initiatives may take time to implement; however, this chapter contains ten easy steps that you can take today to create a more LGBT-inclusive work environment. One: Promote an LGBT-friendly office culture by using inclusive language. For example, include same-sex spouses and partners along with opposite-sex spouses and partners on organization event invitations, in policy documents, or any other company communications. Two: Adopt gender transition guidelines. At the very least, respect transgender and gender-transitioning employees by using appropriate names and personal pronouns. If you are not sure what is appropriate, just ask. Three: Review your organization’s promotional materials (electronic and printed), aimed at students, prospective and current employees, clients and the public, and include LGBT-specific examples of community engagement and support. Four: Encourage professional development by paying employees’ membership fees for LGBT professional associations. Five: Identify LGBT organizations and contact them to see how your organization can get involved in the work they do. Invite them to speak at a lunch-and-learn and invite your employees. Six: Research local LGBT community events that the organization can sponsor and use for networking with prospective customers and employees. Seven: Develop a pipeline of LGBT talent. Reach out to LGBT student organizations and encourage LGBT students to apply for summer internships and other positions within your organization. Eight: Participate in local diversity career fairs and conferences that focus on the LGBT community, and consider posting notices for vacant positions with LGBT organizations and/or job boards. Nine: If your organization has a diversity council or employee resource groups, make sure the diversity council includes LGBT issues in its initiatives and/or the company has an LGBT employee resource group. Ten: If your organization has an annual giving program that donates to local community organizations, include LGBT organizations in the program.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 11


E

Q

U

A

L

I

T

Y

I

L

SECTION III:

L

I

N

O

I

S

BUILDING A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE ORGANIZATION


CHAPTER THREE L-G-B-T WHAT? WHY INCLUDING LGBT ISSUES IN DIVERSITY TRAINING MATTERS One of the biggest problems that “out” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees face is confronting untrue societal stereotypes in the workplace. If the goal is an inclusive workplace, then employers must work to break down stereotypes that inhibit a sense of common understanding and mutual respect from developing among employees. Most would agree that an organization functions best when everyone feels like a member of the team. Organizations report that one of the best tools for breaking down stereotypes in the workplace is diversity and inclusion training, including issues of implicit bias. Diversity training is a great vehicle with which to address LGBT issues. Addressing these issues not only helps to create a more respectful and inclusive workplace but also ensures that the organization can understand and meet the needs of its customers. This chapter includes a list of LGBT issues that the organization should consider addressing in diversity training sessions and also includes a list of LGBT organizations that can help with these sessions. When considering these topics, employers should also consider how training might differ based on the audience being trained. For example, training for managers might focus on different issues than training for rank-and-file employees. LGBT TOPIC AREAS The following is a list of common LGBT topics that arise in the workplace, followed by LGBT organizations that can help your organization with these sessions. Stereotypes LGBT people are frequently stereotyped because of a misunderstanding or unfamiliarity. Perhaps the most common stereotype across the LGBT community is confusion about gender norms, such as the belief that all lesbians will appear more masculine or that all gay men appear more feminine. The issue with gender norms also arises with transgender employees, whose gender identity is different from societal expectations. Stereotypes can be dispelled in diversity training by showing examples of the variety of individuals in the LGBT community. Further, you can address gender-related stereotypes by showing that sexual identity is separate from gender identity. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) can be an excellent resource for addressing negative stereotypes against LGBT individuals. Transgender Identity Like other members of the LGBT community, transgender individuals may encounter issues in the workplace due to perceived gender norms. Employees may expect transgender employees to behave according to their pre-transition gender expression, particularly if the employee has worked with the organization before the transition. Workplace issues can include anything from lack of clarity on bathroom usage by the transgender employee to disapproval and disfavor at any level of management. Because life outside of the workplace is frequently hostile or dangerous to openly transgender individuals, it is important for employers and colleagues to understand the risks, lives, and expectations of transgender employees. Diversity training can help other employees understand the life of a transgender person and help manage expectations with regard to workplace interaction and other issues. The National Center for Transgender Equality is an organization that supports transgender individuals as they transition and come out. It also offers resources for addressing transgender issues in the workplace. For more information on transgender employee issues, see Chapter 7 of this manual as well as Appendix B, which contains a model guideline for gender transition policy. People with HIV/AIDS Since the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, the virus and disease has disproportionately affected members of the LGBT community, specifically gay men. The public often stigmatizes and fears people living with HIV/AIDS, although these fears are mostly based on misinformation rather than real facts. It is important to emphasize real facts about HIV transmission and life with HIV/AIDS to your employees so that they treat everyone with respect (regardless of health status). Once people know the truth about HIV/AIDS, they are typically much more accepting and much less fearful of individuals who are HIV-positive or living with AIDS. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 13


The AIDS Foundation of Chicago is a great resource for information on HIV/AIDS and can assist your organization with FAQs on the virus and disease for diversity training. Legal issues All employees should be informed of the legal implications of discrimination or harassment against LGBT coworkers. Diversity training can protect the organization from the actions of an employee who creates a hostile environment for an LGBT colleague and hopefully a way to make sure that the discrimination never occurs. Diversity training can be an opportunity for the organization to explain the legal consequences of discrimination and what can legally constitute discrimination or defamation. It is also a key avenue for providing information to employees about how to report discrimination or harassment, and how to utilize a company open door policy. The Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC) can also be a resource for organizations to use when creating diversity training seminars, as are the LGBT sections of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Bar Association and American Bar Association. Appropriate language While employees may not have negative feelings toward LGBT individuals, some may simply not realize that some terms can be offensive or negative. Diversity training can be a great place to address appropriate language to use with regard to LGBT individuals. Slurs and derogatory language are never acceptable, and if one has to ask whether a term is offensive, then chances are that it is. The use of incorrect names or pronouns for transgender employees is generally also considered offensive. One question we hear often is what term should one use for an LGBT person’s partner; spouse, partner, husband and wife are all acceptable terms of reference. It is perfectly okay to ask which term your colleague prefers. Using appropriate language can mean the difference between welcoming an employee and making them feel excluded or marginalized. Addressing discomfort of “non-allies” Despite the growing acceptance of the LGBT community, some members of your organization may express discomfort due to religious or other reasons. It is important to stand firm on the side of your LGBT employees. You can refer this particular employee to your nondiscrimination or EEO policy, reminding them that this policy protects everyone, including them, from discrimination. Stress that this policy provides zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination and anti-LGBT behavior. Encourage diversity training or a conversation with an amenable LGBT colleague so that the employee has a chance to realize that they probably have more in common with their LGBT colleagues than they believe. Even if the employee is not interested in finding common ground, the distinction between personal beliefs and professional conduct and expectations should be made clear. If you are having issues with your own level of comfort, make an effort to understand your biases and do not make assumptions. LGBT people have all kinds of interests, recreational activities and lifestyles. You probably have more in common with your LGBT colleagues than you think. Consider the fact that LGBT people are not looking for special treatment but simply want the same protections afforded to everyone else. Addressing complaints of EEO violations Having a non-discrimination or EEO policy is not enough; your organization must have plans in place to handle complaints of possible violations. It is important to have multiple avenues available for employees to report concerns and to make sure employees are aware of these avenues. Consider training for certain members of your staff of how to conduct prompt and thorough investigations. Make sure to take appropriate remedial and preventative action and to confirm that your organization has an obligation to not retaliate against the complaining employee as a result of his or her making the complaint.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 14


CHAPTER FOUR RECRUITING AND HIRING LGBT EMPLOYEES Recruiting LGBT employees is a great way to add diversity to your organization and bring in the unique perspective of LGBT individuals as employees. Having LGBT employees can also attract customers and clients with LGBT concerns. Additionally, more and more corporate clients are increasingly considering organizations’ commitments to diversity as part of their overall selection process. This chapter outlines some tips on where and how to recruit LGBT individuals, as well as marketing ideas to publicize your organization’s diversity and sensitivity to LGBT issues. Where to recruit Even seasoned hiring managers might need a reference on where to begin recruiting and connecting with LGBT candidates. Of course, LGBT-identified potential employees can be found through traditional recruiting venues, such as internship programs, general job fairs and networking events, but creating and maintaining a network of LGBT contacts is the best way to discover diverse talent. These tips will help focus your search on LGBT-specific avenues and cultivate your network of recruitment contacts. • Diversity career fairs. Diversity career fairs are held in major cities for various professions. While not always LGBT specific, they should offer plenty of LGBT candidates to consider. For example, two annual legal job fairs that specialize in diversity are the Vault MCCA Legal Diversity Career Fair (Washington, DC) and Heartland Diversity Legal Job Fair (Kansas City, MO). Reaching Out holds an MBA Career Expo for LGBT MBA students each year, and Out for Work holds an annual conference for undergraduate LGBT college students each year. If there are no LGBT or minority job fairs near your organization, you can always organize one in partnership with other organizations and schools in your area. This will expand your recruiting network and boost your organization’s reputation for commitment to diversity. • LGBT conferences. For particular professions, LGBT conferences can be a great place to meet strong new thinkers. Many groups have conferences on topics specific to the LGBT community. Here in Illinois, Chicago-Kent holds an LGBT Civil Rights Conference on an annual basis. • LGBT college organizations. Virtually every college or university has an LGBT student group. Consider a targeted invitation, a dedicated reception or a meeting with the group and its members in connection with your organization’s recruitment efforts. • School career services offices. Also consider contacting your alma mater or nearby colleges to recruit LGBT students and recent graduates directly. The school’s career services office will be familiar with openly LGBT students at the school and can put you in contact with those students. Maintain relationships with the career services offices by participating in school events and maintaining relationships with career counselors and school organization advisors directly. • Online job boards. Also consider locating websites for LGBT business organizations that may maintain job boards for diverse candidates. Recruiting Tips Many large organizations have dedicated diversity liaisons to attract and retain LGBT and other diverse talent to the organization, but all organizations can benefit from training in LGBT workplace issues. Prospective LGBT employees can often sense immediately if a recruiter or interviewer is uncomfortable with LGBT issues, and thoughtless comments can sometimes be taken as hostile. Hiring managers should be familiar with the organization’s policies and practices regarding LGBT staff, and this manual has many helpful guides on formulating LGBT-friendly workplace policy. Some groups, such as Out & Equal, offer workplace summits where organizations can share their practices together. Especially when targeting your recruiting to LGBT individuals at career fairs and conferences, offer applicants the opportunity to meet an LGBT member of your organization. A current LGBT employee can inform the prospective employee about workplace equality, LGBT initiatives and organization lifestyle even better than any website or brochure. To facilitate these relationships, your organization can host an LGBT dinner or networking reception.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 15


Marketing Ideas Diversity in the workplace can immensely improve the environment of any organization. Diverse candidates provide fresh perspectives and increase the global view of total organization membership. Aside from the obvious benefits to employers and employees alike, diversity can help market your organization to customers and attract more diverse talent. If your organization already employs LGBT professionals, highlight them in the appropriate section of your website with their permission, and publicize their work. Think about how to market your organization’s areas of expertise through your LGBT employees. For example, if your organization does estate planning work, be sure to publicize your understanding and sensitivity to the nuances of estate planning for same-sex couples, which will make LGBT clients feel more at ease. The next step is to identify services that your organization provides to the LGBT community. Highlight any community events you sponsor or other ways that you have reached out to the LGBT community. Continuing to hire diverse candidates and to be involved in LGBT issues highlights your organization’s long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion. All organizations can benefit from the recognition and publicity provided by published LGBT-friendliest workplace lists and the attraction of LGBT talent and customers. Even smaller organizations in outlying communities can benefit from such publicity, as LGBT individuals in these communities often do not have the support and resources of those in big cities. Your organization can be an oasis for LGBT individuals to turn to, and this helps both your organization and your customers.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 16


CHAPTER FIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 101 FOR LGBT EMPLOYEES Organizations can support and celebrate their LGBT employees by fostering opportunities for LGBT-sensitive development and networking. Organizations can provide LGBT-friendly mentors, sponsor employees in LGBT professional groups and organizations and encourage employees to participate in affinity groups and committees. All of these activities will help LGBT employees establish a positive environment for their organizations and help LGBT employees develop into successful and committed members of the team. LGBT-friendly mentors Organizations can provide high-level mentors to incoming LGBT employees. Mentorships are especially useful for new employees because mentors are familiar with the culture and practices of the organization. For LGBT employees, an openly LGBT or LGBT-supportive mentor can help navigate sensitive questions, such as about being “out” at work. You can also consider instituting a reverse mentoring program, pairing higher-level employees with interested lower-level diverse employees. This is a great way to open channels of communication and potentially learn about the challenges these employees face. Aside from in-house mentors, your organization can reach out to school alumni networks and professional associations in your area in order to set your employee up with an LGBT mentor who can help the employee navigate the community. While these mentors might not have the perspective of working in your organization, they can still be useful for connecting your employees to others in the area who can offer them opportunities to attend events and join groups. It can also be a great idea to set up opportunities for your employees to be mentors themselves to LGBT students in the area. This can be done through LGBT professional groups in your area or through student affinity groups at local schools. Networking Opportunities for LGBT Employees Organizations should ensure that LGBT employees not only feel comfortable reaching out to the LGBT community in the area but have realistic opportunities to do so. This type of networking is beneficial for both employees and the organization. There are several ways that organizations can encourage their LGBT employees to expand their network. • LGBT professional associations. In addition to paying for employees’ membership fees to traditional professional associations, organizations should also consider paying for their employees’ membership in LGBT professional associations. These associations often host events, fundraisers and special projects that employees can take part in. There are LGBT professional groups for a wide array of careers and fields. • LGBT public interest organizations. These organizations can help employees network in their local LGBT communities, get involved and raise awareness for LGBT issues. Several such organizations include Equality Illinois, the Human Rights Campaign and the Tri-State Alliance. • LGBT conferences and events. Organizations can also facilitate LGBT professionals attending conferences, whether local or nationwide, on LGBT issues. Many organizations have established budgets or processes through which their employees can participate in such conferences. Newer employees may have an interest in attending such a conference but might hold back due to work commitments or financial reasons. Consider actively encouraging newer employees to attend. Employees who attend the conference on the organization’s dime can then be required to present on learned LGBT issues for the organization. The organization can even host LGBT education seminars and open them to the broader local community. • Mixers. Consider pairing with other companies for an LGBT mixer. This can be a great way to introduce employees to the LGBT community and can even encourage or procure future deals and partnerships. Networking from within: LGBT affinity groups/employee resource groups (ERGs) Another way to strengthen the LGBT community and presence in your own organization is to form LGBT affinity groups, employee resource groups or committees within the organization’s structure. A group like this can meet regularly, build team strength and potentially address issues within the organization. Such a group should have a clear mission statement oriented to the business operations, and an identified senior executive sponsor who works within the organization to support the mission and initiatives of the group. Many organizations have found this to be a great vehicle for identifying new and creative ways to improve the workplace environment for their employees. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 17


This need not be an elaborate or expensive process. In practice, some organizations’ affinity groups meet over lunch or even at someone’s home throughout the year. Look at the size of the LGBT community in your organization to determine the best way to implement regular meetings. Start out with introductions and teambuilding exercises, then go from there to create a regular meeting place where LGBT employees can feel free to share their opinions and perspectives. These groups can help employees feel welcomed and supported by the organization. Once established, the LGBT affinity group can sponsor events throughout the year to coincide with events such as Pride and National Coming Out Day. The group can also partner with other affinity groups within the organization to discuss issues that span multiple groups. Affinity groups should consider sending a welcome letter to each new employee making them aware of the groups available at the organization. Never assume that a new employee is or is not LGBT or interested in the group. The groups should be inclusive of all. Straight allies With such a small percentage of the population identifying as LGBT, identification of and support from straight allies is essential to successfully creating an inclusive work environment. Straight allies can show their support by becoming a member of, or attending a meeting of your company’s LGBT affinity group or an LGBT diversity event sponsored by it, simply showing interest in an LGBT colleague’s life, family and interests and speaking up when hearing an anti-LGBT remark or joke in the work environment. Employers should recognize and support straight allies who demonstrate leadership by participating in LGBT related diversity initiatives. Auditing leadership Many companies find their ability to create a diverse and welcoming workforce enhanced by evaluating company leadership and/or senior executives to see the steps they have taken to foster LGBT talent, to be responsive to concerns of LGBT employees and their allies, and to participate in diversity initiatives. This audit process is effective because it signals the import that the company places on diversity and inclusion, and thus serves as an effective motivator in helping to create a truly inclusive workforce.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 18


CHAPTER SIX ATTRACTING AND RETAINING TOP-TALENT: SAME-SEX PARTNERSHIP BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION 1. How to develop same-sex partner benefits and what should be included Health, welfare, and retirement benefits are vital in recruiting and retaining top employees. Offering benefits to spouses and domestic and civil union partners of employees sends a message that the organization values all of its employees equally. Generally, all employers in Illinois who offer spousal coverage must offer the same benefits regardless of whether an employee is in a same or different-sex marriage. If an employer’s insurance policy is issued in Illinois and allows for coverage for a married spouse of a policyholder, it must also provide for the same coverage for a civil union partner of the policyholder. Similarly, if a policy covers the dependent child(ren) of a married policyholder, it must also cover the child(ren) of a policyholder in a civil union. However, if an employer provides health benefits through a self-insured ERISA-governed plan, the law does not require it to extend benefits to same-sex spouses. However, not offering such benefits may lead to a lawsuit under Title VII. In addition, not offering such benefits will hamper an employer’s ability to create a welcoming and inclusive work environment. In addition to offering same-sex spousal health benefits, employers should offer other benefits such as tuition assistance, bereavement leave, relocation expenses, adoption assistance, and all other benefits on equal terms. While the federal government recognizes marriages of same-sex couples that were valid where performed, federal law does not recognize Illinois civil unions. Therefore, employees pay federal income tax on the value of any health benefits that the employer provides to their civil union partner. The employer’s cost of providing benefits to the employee’s partner is imputed as income to the employee. The imputed income is then treated as wages for federal income tax and payroll tax purposes. While married employees, including those married to persons of the same sex, do not have to pay these taxes, civil union partners do. What about domestic partnership benefits? Many individuals and couples facing homophobia or other forms of social discrimination in their community may find it too difficult to take a public step such as marrying their same-sex partner. Organizations that truly respect the values and beliefs of its employees will not condition their domestic partner benefits on employees entering into a marriage. Employers should take this into consideration and continue to offer domestic partner benefits to those employees who would qualify for them. Think you can’t afford to extend benefits to domestic partners? Think again. After more than two decades of experience with employers offering domestic partner health benefits, the cost to most employers has been negligible. A majority of employers (64 percent) experienced a total financial impact of less than 1 percent of total benefits cost. 88 percent experience financial impacts of 2 percent or less and only 5 percent experience financial impacts of 3 percent or greater of total benefits cost. (For more information, visit our partner resource at www.hrc.org/resources/entry/domestic-partner-benefits-cost-and-utilization) For information on transgender-specific health care issues please refer to Chapter 7. What can employers do about the federal tax inequality for same-sex couples in civil unions? Civil unions continue to be available in Illinois even with the recognition of the same-sex couples’ right to marry. Some of your out-of-state employees may also be in civil unions. Because civil unions are not considered by the federal government to be the same as marriage, benefits for partners are not tax-deductible. Employers devoted to true equality reimburse or “gross up” their employee’s compensation for the difference that must be paid in federal taxes. A “gross-up” means that employers will provide additional compensation to an employee who is subjected to the discrepancy in the law to compensate for the additional taxes the employee must pay as a result of covering a same-sex partner under health, dental, or vision plan. Employers throughout the country are offering gross up benefits to their employees, and it is a great way to stay competitive in the search for and retention of top employees, even though gross-up benefits are not required by law. 2. Process for verifying marriage or civil union status The requirements for verifying one’s marital or civil union status may vary by employer. Some might require a state-issued civil union or out-of-state marriage certificate, while others may not require any documentation at all. Regardless of what is required, the important point to remember is that employers in Illinois should not subject LGBT employees in a civil union or marriage to more stringent requirements to prove their relationship than they require of spouses in a heterosexual marriage.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 19


3. Family leave for same-sex partners and their children In Illinois, employers must treat spouses and civil union partners equally in regards to benefits, such as bereavement and parental leave. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires larger employers to provide employees unpaid leave for serious health conditions, to care for a sick spouse, child, or other family member, or to care for a newborn or adopted child. The FMLA equally provides protections for employees married to spouses of the same sex and their children. The FMLA does not apply to civil union partners. At present, it is uncertain whether the federal government considers transition-related care to be a “serious health condition”, and thus covered under the FMLA. Traditionally, many aspects of transition-related care have been considered “cosmetic” rather than “medical”, and therefore are not covered under the FMLA. This may be changing as organizations such as the American Medical Association continue to stress the medically necessary nature of transition-related medical procedures. As the law does not currently require FMLA coverage for all LGBT related leaves, leading companies are increasingly adopting policies to ensure that their LGBT employees are treated equally to their married and non-transgender counterparts. Examples of this include changing the language of the employer’s leave plan to include civil union and domestic same-sex partners and to allow employees to take adoption leave regardless of their marital status. In addition, providing gender transition guidelines which outline the employers’ medical benefits and FMLA expectations allow an LGBT employee, and especially an employee who is transitioning or considering transitioning, to feel that they are a valued part of the team. 4. Continuation health coverage for same-sex civil union partners The continuation health coverage rights afforded by Illinois law apply equally to civil union spouses and married spouses. Illinois continuation law can provide continuation up to 12 months if an employee is terminated or his or her hours are reduced. A spouse or civil union partner may be eligible to continue coverage for up to two years after the death, retirement, or dissolution of the employee. However, continuation rights under Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1996, or “COBRA” differ. COBRA, as a federal law, does not recognize Illinois civil unions, meaning that civil union partners will not qualify for all of the same continuation rights as married spouses. It is important to note that nothing in COBRA prohibits employers from offering coverage to civil union partners or dependents. An employer who values its employees equally should implement best practices by providing COBRA-equivalent coverage to civil union partners and their dependents. For more information, please visit Illinois Department of Insurance’s Civil Unions and Insurance Benefits at www.insurance.illinois.gov/general/civilunions.asp 5. Adoption benefits for same-sex spouses and partners Adoption benefits are still relatively rare, and new to many organizations. If an organization offers adoption benefits to its employees, it should be certain that the language in its adoption benefits program extends the program to all employees regardless of marital status. Using language like “spouse” and “parent” rather than “husband/wife” or “mother/father” ensure that all employees are eligible for such benefits. 6. Retirement benefits for same-sex spouses and partners Many employers sponsor tax-qualified retirement plans as investment vehicles for employees preparing for retirement (e.g. a qualified pension plan, 401(k) plan, etc). In addition to facilitating these savings, retirement plans include specific rules regarding how spouses are identified and treated for several purposes including retirement plan account distributions. The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance on these rules as they pertain to same-sex spouses. In essence, a same-sex couple who is legally married in any jurisdiction must be treated as a spouse under the terms of the retirement plan. For example, where a 401(k) retirement plan provides for the automatic payment of death benefits to a participant’s spouse, a legal same-sex spouse must be provided this benefit before another beneficiary may claim the benefit. To the extent a retirement plan specifically defines spouse as an opposite-sex individual, that plan definition should be amended to recognize a same-sex spouse as well.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 20


CHAPTER SEVEN TRANSGENDER AND GENDER-TRANSITIONING EMPLOYEES Although not every organization will have the experience of employing a transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender-transitioning employee, it is important to have procedures in place to protect both the employee and the organization. From the employee’s perspective, it is important for the organization to make him or her feel accepted. From the organization’s perspective, it is crucial to have a committed and consistent process in place. Diversity and Inclusion Training Diversity training seminars are designed to prevent grievances in the workplace that can arise from lack of understanding or acceptance between employees, to notify employees of important company policies, and to ensure that all employees are put on notice about what they are supposed to do when they experience conduct in the workplace that could be unlawful. Diversity training also serves an important purpose in training managers for how to properly manage difficult workplace situations, and how to properly address complaints of discrimination or harassment when they arise. In addition to preventing legal risk, training can create an inclusive atmosphere, and contribute to a friendly work atmosphere. While many organizations already periodically host diversity seminars, it would also be appropriate to hold a specific session when the organization hires an employee who identifies as transgender or gender non-conforming or an employee at the organization discloses that he or she will undergo a gender transition. A human resources manager can be responsible for coordinating a diversity training seminar, which can be by video or in person, although it is recommended that any trainer have personal experience and understanding regarding the transgender and gender non-conforming experience and/or the process of gender transitioning. Many speakers travel the country to give diversity seminars, and the in-person seminars can be a great way for employees to ask questions about how the transition could affect the workplace. If there are employees who have challenges understanding the transgender employee, this is a great forum for openly addressing those concerns and informing employees of the discrimination that transgender and gender non-conforming individuals face. It may be acceptable to host these seminars without the transitioning person in attendance as these can be, but do not necessarily have to be, an opportunity for co-workers and colleagues to ask questions that they may otherwise feel awkward asking the newly “out” co-worker directly. These sorts of seminars should be designed to encourage collegiality and dispel myths or misunderstandings. Be certain to ask the transitioning employee whether or not they prefer to be present at such a seminar, as they may feel singled-out and exposed if they are present. In addition, consider whether to preview training materials with the transitioning employee, to ensure they can provide perspective on content. Gender-Neutral Dress Codes In the past, office dress codes dictated separate guidelines for male and female employees. Most offices’ dress codes now avoid gender stereotypes. For example, instead of the long-gone requirement for women to wear skirts or pantyhose, modern codes require employees to dress in “professional attire” or “business attire” because the concepts apply equally to both male and female employees. Transgender employees or employees in the process of a gender transition should be allowed to dress in accordance with their gender identity. Thus, even during a transition, an employee who identifies as a woman should be allowed to dress as a woman. In addition, a gender neutral dress code can be useful for other employees, including employees who are not transgender, but whose gender expression may not conform to traditional societal norms. Health Insurance Coverage In order for employers to be fully inclusive they should consider the needs of all of their employees. Transgender employees might need to take hormones or have surgical procedures. An inclusive health plan will cover these needs as well as any other medical and mental health care required for transitioning. There may be a need for organizations to work with the insurance carriers to ensure that transgender employees are able to receive coverage for their particular needs regardless of the sex indicated in the documents. As an example, a transgender woman might need a prostate exam. Many insurance policies do not cover these costs so it will take a concerned and proactive employer to think about subscribing to insurance carriers/plans that cover care for transition and post-transition care. Employers can also try to work with insurance carriers to ask that transition related exclusions, such as denial of care for medically necessary facial reconstruction for transgender women or medically necessary mastectomies for transgender men, are removed. An employer wishing to offer more robust coverage for such treatments may do so. However, prior to changing insurance coverage, an employer should speak with counsel about the benefits and risks of making such a change. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 21


In addition to considering various insurance policies, employers should also look to incorporate understanding leave policies for post-operative recoveries that will be necessary for the transitioning employee, even though they are not necessarily required under the FMLA. Time off for transition-related medical procedures should be given the same consideration as other medically necessary procedures. Employers should make sure their position on transition-related leave is clearly stated in order to help transitioning employees plan their transition paths. Transgender-inclusive health insurance benefits are not as expensive as one would think. Only a small percentage of people undergo transgender-specific medical treatment, and many of these procedures are one-time costs. Transgender people who are unable to transition often present other medical issues as a result. For more information, visit http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/are-transgender-inclusive-health-insurance-benefits-expensive. Gender Transition Guidelines Having gender transition guidelines in place allows the organization to express a protocol for implementing its gender nondiscrimination policy instead of trying to create one when the organization hires a transgender employee or has an employee that is in the process of a gender transition. This removes any doubt about expectations and protocols for all employees while also allowing the organization to act quickly to integrate a transgender employee into the workplace. The guidelines are typically drafted by human resources staff or managers and can be made available in several ways, including attachment to the general employee handbook for the office or making a file available on the network server. For gender-transitioning employees, the guidelines often designate a staff member to assist the employee in their transition. The guidelines allow both the transitioning or transgender employee, as well as the organization, to know what to expect during the transition (or integration into the workplace if the employee is a new hire who has already transitioned). In addition to paperwork to update the employee’s gender in personnel records, administrative procedures may need to be updated, as well as adjusting markers on insurance and other benefits policies. In drafting the guidelines, the organization should try to strike a balance between integrating the transgender employee as smoothly as possible while also educating the other employees in respectful office conduct. For further information please refer to Appendix B for a model Gender Transition Guideline.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 22


E

Q

U

A

L

I

T

Y

I

L

L

I

SECTION IV:

N

BEYOND THE ORGANIZATION

O

I

S


CHAPTER EIGHT ENGAGING WITH THE LGBT COMMUNITY Your organization can enhance its reputation and commitment for diversity by actively engaging with the LGBT community in your area. Chicago has a vibrant LGBT community, as do many communities in Northern, Central and Southern Illinois. These communities often provide opportunities for pro bono work, outreach, marketing and event sponsoring. Community Work With LGBT Organizations Encouraging members of your team to do pro bono or volunteer work on behalf of LGBT organizations is a great way to reach out to the community, make a positive difference in the lives of others, hone or learn new skills and network. Regardless of your area of expertise, there is undoubtedly an organization that could use your help. Sponsoring Educational and Social/Networking Events To further expand your involvement with your local LGBT community, your organization can sponsor community events and fundraisers to show support. Community/Educational Events • Host a lunchtime panel discussion at your organization on recent developments in LGBT issues • Host a speaker to discuss recent developments on marriage equality in Illinois • Co-sponsor a networking cocktail hour with a local LGBT organization or association • Co-sponsor a reception to recognize an achievement in LGBT rights in your area • Sponsor a diversity job fair and send a team to recruit LGBT students and lateral employees Social Networking Events • Purchase a table at an LGBT organization’s benefit dinner • Host a fundraising competition with another local company, the proceeds of which benefit an LGBT organization • Sponsor runners in a race that benefits an LGBT organization • Sponsor a benefit gala for an LGBT organization Show Your Support Remember to include LGBT organizations during your annual gift-giving. If your organization has a supplier and vendor diversity program, make sure to include LGBT-owned businesses in the list. One of the best ways you can help the LGBT community is to vocalize your support. Educate elected officials on your best practices and support. To continue the effect of your involvement in the LGBT community, it is key to advertise your organization’s commitment to diversity through marketing materials. With a reputation for support of LGBT issues, your organization will be sought out to participate in events, panels, speaking engagements, conferences and job fairs. Here are some ways to advertise your organization’s commitment to LGBT diversity in the workplace: • List recent events on your organization’s webpage • List LGBT events, sponsorships and other support in brochures and other publications • Advertise in LGBT-centered issues of professional and industry periodicals • Include articles on LGBT issues in your periodic client mailings Advertising to the LGBT Community While many commercials and ads have referred to LGBT people for sensationalistic reasons, the general population and media are becoming more aware of diversity and appreciate messages handled with sensitivity. While many organizations have best practices in place internally, it is important that those practices translate to your advertising and external communications as well. Creating LGBT-inclusive campaigns for both LGBT-tailored media and the general media shows can enhance your message for all consumers. For more information and a helpful list of dos and don’ts, please visit Commercial Closet Association Best Practices guide at www.commercialcloset.org.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 24


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Best Practices Manual is a labor of love and commitment by Equality Illinois Law Fellows, Corporate Responsibility Project Committee members and our partners at Seyfarth Shaw LLP. We are grateful to all of you for your tireless work. Equality Illinois Law and Policy Fellows S. Joey Lam, J.D. 2017 Rob Cameron, J.D. 2015 Anthony Kudron, Esq. Valerie Sherman, Esq. Lyndsey Stults, Esq. Brennan Suen Equality Illinois Corporate Responsibility Project Committee Bernard Cherkasov, Esq. Patty Dillon Caroline Staerk Sam Schwartz-Fenwick, Esq. Clay Tillack, Esq. Equality Illinois is the state’s oldest and largest organization securing, defending, and protecting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. www.eqil.org 17 N State St, Ste 1020 Chicago, IL 60602 773.477.7173 info@eqil.org

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 25


APPENDIX A: NON-DISCRIMINATION/EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY [Organization Name] is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected under law. This policy applies to all areas of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, transfer, termination, layoff, compensation, benefits and all other conditions and privileges of employment. Each office of [Organization Name] also complies with applicable state and local laws whose provisions may vary from those on which Organization-wide policies are based.

APPENDIX B: GENDER TRANSITION GUIDELINE ORGANIZATION’S STATEMENT ON WORKPLACE GENDER TRANSITION [ORGANIZATION NAME] has been and continues to be an advocate for diversity and equal employment opportunities for qualified candidates. Every person makes a unique contribution toward establishing _______ as a place where people can grow and succeed. We enable these contributions by maintaining a workplace environment that embraces diversity and fosters creativity and innovation. Accordingly, fairness and equity must be defining characteristics of our workplace environment. Per our Anti-Harassment Policy, “It is the policy of ________to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), ancestry, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, citizenship status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law. _____ is committed to ensuring a work environment in which the dignity of every employee and partner is respected and expects every employee and partner to show respect for all colleagues, independent contractors, clients, vendors, recruits and guests. ______ requires that all relationships among persons in the workplace be free of bias, prejudice and harassment. Respectful, professional conduct furthers the organization’s mission, promotes productivity, minimizes disputes and enhances ¬¬______’s reputation.” By providing a work environment of respect, trust, collaboration and cooperation, _______ can provide superior service to our clients and create a workplace in which we can achieve the highest professional satisfaction. People who can bring their whole selves to work can thrive in their job and career. Just as there are gay, lesbian and bisexual employees at _______, there may also be employees who are transgender or gender non-conforming. Some are out — i.e., open about their gender identity or expression — and others may not be. However, given that many transitioning employees must come out to their employers in order to live consistently with one’s gender identity full-time, employers necessarily become involved in an employee’s transition. Workplace Gender Transition Guidelines _________ has developed and implemented a set of guidelines which are intended to address the needs and issues that arise in the workplace when a transgender person transitions on the job at the organization. This document is intended to be used by those who may be or are transgender, their co-workers, managers and friends. You may obtain a copy of the guidelines through your local HR department, the Organization-wide Benefit Services Manager or a member of the GLBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee. The transgender status of an individual is considered confidential and should only be disclosed on a need-to- know basis and with the consent of the individual. WORKPLACE GENDER TRANSITION GUIDELINES AT ___________________ Just as there are gay, lesbian and bisexual employees at _________there are also employees who are transgender. Some are out (i.e., open about their gender identity or expression) and others may not be. However, given that many transitioning employees must come out to their employers in order to live consistently with one’s gender identity full-time, employers necessarily become involved in an employee’s transition.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 26


PURPOSE FOR GUIDELINES This document is intended to delineate workplace guidelines for addressing the needs and issues that arise in the workplace when a transgender person transitions on the job at the Organization. These guidelines support the organization’s Anti-Harassment policy, which includes gender identity. This document is intended to be used by those who may be or are transgender, their co-workers, managers and friends. If you need any assistance understanding something in this document or would like to have a conversation about gender-identity related issues, please see the resources section found at the end of this document. Change often creates anxiety around the unknown, and as with all change, gender transitions affect many people – the individual transitioning, supervisors, peers, clients and even those with incidental affiliation such as working in the same location or practice area. These guidelines provide a starting point for building awareness around a topic that is new to the workforce in the last 15 years. While the topic is new to the workplace, it is similar to many other human resources change management issues that arise. These guidelines should be used in conjunction with change management resources and experience to ensure success on behalf of all parties involved. POLICY STATEMENT _______ has been and continues to be an advocate for diversity and equal employment opportunities for qualified candidates. Every person makes a unique contribution toward establishing __________ as a place where people can grow and succeed. We enable these contributions by maintaining a workplace environment that embraces diversity and fosters creativity and innovation. Accordingly, fairness and equity must be defining characteristics of our workplace environment. Per our Anti-Harassment Policy, “It is the policy of __________ to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), ancestry, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, citizenship status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law. _________ is committed to ensuring a work environment in which the dignity of every employee and partner is respected and expects every employee and partner to show respect for all colleagues, independent contractors, clients, vendors, recruits and guests. ________ requires that all relationships among persons in the workplace be free of bias, prejudice and harassment. Respectful, professional conduct furthers _________’s mission, promotes productivity, minimizes disputes and enhances _________’s reputation.” By providing a work environment of respect, trust, collaboration and cooperation, _________ can provide superior service to our clients and create a workplace in which we can achieve the highest professional satisfaction. People who can bring their whole selves to work can thrive in their job and career. USEFUL TERMS The following list of terms represent “text book” definitions. Please recognize that understanding of these and other terms may be different for each person. You should consider level setting the vocabulary you will use in each conversation to ensure everyone involved is using the applicable terms in the same way. •Transgender refers to a broad range of people who experience and/or express their gender differently from what most people expect – either in terms of expressing a gender that does not match the sex listed on their original birth certificate (i.e., designated sex at birth) or by undergoing gender-related medical intervention. It is an umbrella term. Not all people who consider themselves (or who may be considered by others as) transgender will undergo a gender transition. •Sex is the biologically based presumption of reproductive capability to determine a person’s label of female or male. This label, at birth, is usually based on a doctor’s visual assessment of a baby’s genitalia. •Gender is the social meaning given to sex. A person’s gender role reflects the duties, qualities and expectations of society based on gender which includes how we have learned to walk, look, act, dress, what job we choose, what first name we have and so on. •Gender Expression refers to all external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, such as dress, mannerisms and speech patterns. •Gender Identity refers to a person’s innate, deeply felt psychological identification as male, female, both, or neither, which may or may not correspond to the person’s body or designated sex at birth. These individuals may or may not undergo medical intervention in order to physically comport with their gender identity. Gender identity is distinct from sexual orientation. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 27


•Gender dysphoria (GID) is a psychological diagnosis recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. This disorder is marked by severe distress and discomfort caused by the conflict between one’s gender identity and one’s designated sex at birth. Not all transgender people experience gender dysphoria or are diagnosed with GID. •Transsexual refers to those transgender individuals who, frequently with the support of medical or psychological professionals, are changing or have changed their physical characteristics/anatomy to facilitate personal and public recognition of their gender as different from that which they were assigned at birth. This may or may not include sex reassignment surgery. It is generally considered impolite to refer to a transitioning employee by this term, as it can call unwelcome attention to the employee’s anatomy or surgical status. •Transgender Woman: “Transwoman” – Individual who is assigned male at birth who transitions to publicly and/or privately live as a woman. The term “MTF”, or male-to-female, is occasionally used. This language may call unwanted attention to an employee’s biological or surgical status, and should not be employed as blanket terminology because it is often seen as pejorative. •Transgender Man: “Transman” – Individual who is assigned female at birth who transitions to publicly and/or privately live as a man. The term “FTM”, or female-to-male, is occasionally used. This language may call unwanted attention to an employee’s biological or surgical status, and should not be employed as blanket terminology because it is often seen as pejorative •Cross-Dresser refers to an individual who wears the clothing and/or accoutrements, such as makeup and accessories, considered by society to correspond to the “opposite sex.” Unlike transgender individuals, cross-dressers typically do not seek to change their physical characteristics and/or manner of expression permanently or desire to live full-time as the opposite gender. Cross-dressers are sometimes called “transvestites,” but that term is considered pejorative. Calling a person in transition a “cross-dresser” is also generally considered pejorative. Employees that cross-dress some of the time may fear that discovery of their cross-dressing, even when on personal time, may lead to discrimination or harassment at work. While cross-dressing off-duty is not related to an employee’s job performance, a person who cross-dresses off-duty is still protected by our policy prohibiting discrimination or harassment based on gender identity, even though the law does not strictly require such protection. •Sexual orientation refers to an individual’s physical and emotional attraction to the same and/or opposite gender. “Heterosexual,” “bisexual,” “gay” and “lesbian” are all sexual orientations. A person’s sexual orientation is distinct from a person’s gender identity and expression. •Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not fit conventional definitions of female or male. TRANSITIONING: INTRODUCTION The process of a transgender individual publicly changing his or her gender presentation in society is sometimes referred to as “transitioning.” While many people are comfortable with the physiology and identity they were assigned at birth, there is a portion of the population who experience distress, anguish, or pain due to their birth assignment. Some of those who do not identify with their assigned sex take initiative to actively change their physiology or expression (e.g., dress, jewelry, mannerisms, voice, vocabulary). This process of acknowledging gender identity and taking initiative to comport with it is referred to as “transition” Not all people who consider themselves or who may be transgender will choose a gender transition, and a transition does not necessarily have a defined beginning or “end” point. A transitioning individual often changes their name, clothing and appearance and may also make anatomical changes. If the individual remains at their same place of employment during this transition, it is known as “transitioning on the job” or “transitioning in the workplace.” A transition may include hormone therapy, gender confirmation surgeries and/or other treatments. Transition is generally, though not always, conducted under medical supervision based on a set of standards developed by medical professionals such as the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (“WPATH”). Many transgender individuals face difficult situations/interactions in their personal, professional, family and financial lives simultaneously. Transition may cause individuals to face greater-than-usual danger or harassment both in and out of the workplace. Additionally, those who have begun the process of transitioning may have begun hormone therapy, which can affect the individual’s disposition. We encourage the support team to be aware and sensitive to the stresses on the individual both internal and external to the Organization. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 28


EXPECTATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES There are expectations and responsibilities of each party associated with a transition in the workplace and it is essential that open and honest communication be established to build trust for each party. A successful transition in the workplace can only occur with commitment and understanding of each involved party. A. TRANSITIONING INDIVIDUAL If you are the transitioning individual, you have the right to openly be who you are. This means while still maintaining professional expectations, you may express your gender identity, characteristics or expression without fear of consequences. With this right comes the expectation that you will work with others to ensure that they understand your needs and that you understand the expectations of you. It is important for you to do your part to make the transition successful, and the first step is to inform personnel who can assist you. Your first point of contact may be your immediate superior, a member of your local HR Department and/or a member of the LGBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee. It is important that at some point your immediate supervisor, manager, partner or member of the LGBT Subcommittee becomes part of your support team. Remember that you are covered under ________’s Anti-Harassment Policy, but ________ must be aware of your situation in order to provide support. Explain to the person that you’ve selected to speak with your intentions, needs and concerns. Your manager, HR staff and others may not be educated about transgender issues and may not understand clearly what your needs may be. A transition plan is not set in stone, and can adapt to your changing needs as you transition. You may be called upon to spend some time educating people, but you don’t need to do it alone. Leverage your resources with the LGBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee or your local LGBT networking forum to help you organize your thoughts and prepare for those discussions. (See the “Creating a Plan” section.) B. (ORGANIZATION NAME) Our culture supports diversity. If someone who reports to you informs you of their desire to transition or if an individual in your workplace is currently in the transition process, you should work with and support that individual. While each situation is different and may require a unique approach, below are some steps an employee can take in order to work with the transitioning individual: •If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the transition process, allow the transitioning individual to educate you, leverage resources available to you through the LGBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee and your local HR Department or, if necessary, refer the person directly to such resources. •Listen carefully to what the individual is telling you and how they’d like to be treated. Do they want to keep their transition as quiet as possible or do they wish to transition publicly? •Be open-minded and discuss with the transitioning individual his or her needs and concerns. Be mindful that the employee may not yet understand all of their own needs or the full scope of their transition. If you oversee, manage or lead an employee or partner who is transitioning, it is important that you demonstrate understanding and use a sensitive approach to their needs and concerns. It may be frightening to the transitioning individual to make himself or herself vulnerable to a person upon whom their job depends. Make it clear to them that your conversation will be held in confidence. Explain questions and concerns you might have and ask their opinion on putting together a plan for transitioning at work. During the early stages of an individual’s transition, often few or no accommodations will be required on your part. However at some point, issues dealing with changes in the employee’s physical appearance and name, as well as usage of restroom facilities and locker rooms must be addressed. There are also important considerations for employees who are involved in providing client service.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 29


FACTORS TO CONSIDER DURING THE TRANSITION PROCESS A. APPEARANCE STANDARDS A transgender employee is permitted to dress consistently with his or her gender identity and is required to comply with the same standards of dress and appearance that apply to all other people in their workplace and similar position. Local management has the same right to review a transitioning individual’s professional attire as they do any other individual. Any concerns regarding appearance should be addressed with the employee or partner directly. If the individual dresses or behaves inappropriately, this issue should be dealt with in the same manner it would be addressed with any other individual. Understand, however, that many transgender persons are still familiarizing themselves with the standards of dress for their gender identity early in transition. Be sure to make your expectations regarding dress clear and within the employee’s reach. You should contact your local HR Department directly with questions or concerns. B. RESTROOM ACCESS Restroom access issues need to be handled with sensitivity, not only due to our obligation to provide transitioning individuals with the same level of restroom access available to non-transgender individuals but also due to the emotional responses of co-workers to the idea of sharing facilities with a transgender co-worker. Co-workers who have personal concerns about sharing a restroom with a transgender individual should be invited to have an honest discussion with an appropriate HR staff member or a representative from the LGBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee. If an employee objects to using the same bathroom as a transgender colleague, an employer should make clear that a transgender employee can use the restroom that reflects their gender identity. If the employer has a single occupancy restroom, it can suggest that the objecting employee use the single occupancy restroom. However, a transgender employee should not be restricted to using a single occupancy restroom. C. NAME, GENDER, PHOTOGRAPH CHANGES Upon notification of legal name change of the transitioning individual, change his or her name and gender in all personnel and administrative records (see “Name Changes” section). At the first opportunity, replace all photographs on display in the workplace with an updated photo portraying the individual in their new, re-assigned gender and notify the individual of the replacement. Be mindful that a legal name change may not be sufficient to change all of an employee’s identity documents, depending upon where they live or were born. This can be particularly important if an employee is expected to drive or take air travel as part of their employment. If an employee’s driver’s license does not match their legal name, the employee may encounter difficulty renting cars, interacting with law enforcement, obtaining tickets on planes or trains, and passing security checkpoints. Work with the employee to determine where such difficulties may occur in the context of the workplace, and identify how an employee might overcome them. Putting a priority on name and gender change on one’s passport, for example, will be sufficient to bypass many airline security difficulties. D. NAME CHANGES ON LICENSES Many of our employees are required legally to have a current and valid professional license to function in their role. At some point in the transition process, the transitioning individual may legally change his or her name. At that point, his or her legal name no longer matches the name found on his or her license. Those responsible for signing reports, etc., should do so with their legal name. Upon a legal name change, individuals should work with the Attorney Training & Development Department (or other appropriate licensing experts) to process the name change with the applicable licensing body. E. CLIENT STANDARDS Those transgender individuals who serve clients are held to the same appearance and behavior standards as everyone else. Serving clients is not a reason to deny a transitioning individual the right to dress in his or her reassigned gender role. Client, employee or partner preference is also not a reason to deny a transitioning individual the right to dress in her or his reassigned gender role. Communicating with clients can require difficult conversations. Please consider contacting the LGBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee or your local HR Department to develop an appropriate plan for communicating any expectations. F. RIGHTS TO PRIVACY Transgender employees at ___________ have the right to be who they are without unnecessary disclosure of medical information. In addition, current and prospective employees and partners who encounter problems concerning identification documentation, such as payroll and insurance forms, should feel comfortable raising those concerns with the HR Department CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 30


G. STATEMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITY The transgender status of an individual is considered confidential and should only be disclosed on a need-to-know basis and with the consent of the individual. However, transitioning individuals are encouraged to participate in the necessary education of their coworkers at whatever level they are comfortable. CREATING A PLAN: GUIDELINES FOR TRANSITIONING INDIVIDUALS You, as a transitioning individual, should try to create a support team. Try to involve your manager, local HR staff and/or other supportive coworkers to work together to develop an engagement plan that is appropriate for you and the Organization. The list below is a suggested list of things to consider and discuss with your support team. DEVELOP A LIST OF AFFECTED PERSONS • Who are all the people in the Organization you may need to engage at some point during the transition? • When do they need to be engaged? • Are there any specific issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later? CREATE A TIMELINE—SUGGESTED: 1 YEAR PRIOR TO TARGET TRANSITION DATES, WHAT ARE YOUR MILESTONES? • Block out dates such as legal name change, transition milestones and other events. You may not yet know what all of your milestones will be, so be prepared to be flexible. Your transition plan can be flexible, too. • Review the list of affected persons and develop the program to allow time for education. THINGS TO CONSIDER • How would you like your team to find out about your transition, such as a letter, a face-to-face meeting, individual discussions, your supervisor explaining, etc.? • Will you need workspace changes to be made during the transition? • How long do certain HR functions take, such as legal name changes in PeopleSoft, company directories, etc.? • How do you think your clients should be informed? • When will you need to process any necessary changes to professional licenses? EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED BRAINSTORM POTENTIAL ROADBLOCKS AND ADJUST YOUR PLANS ACCORDINGLY. FOR EXAMPLE: • List all the things that a new employee must do during the first week of employment—getting a security badge photo, W4 forms, insurance paperwork, etc. How long do these normally take? • Do a search for your current name on the Organization’s intranet for team rosters and other references. How many of these pages will need to be altered or removed? GUIDELINES FOR SUPPORT TEAM PROVIDE ASSURANCE • Affirm your support of the individual. • Clarify that he or she is covered by the existing policies outlined in the “Policy Statement” section of this document. • Make it clear that your conversation will be held in confidence and make note of those things for which you may wish to seek outside guidance. SOLICIT INPUT • Ask for suggestions on what you can do to help and discuss how you can assist him or her during their transition. • Ask if he or she wishes to inform their manager, co-workers and clients themselves or prefers that this be done for them. • Ask if he or she is considering a name change. If yes, ask what name and pronoun the individual will use and when the individual will want you to begin referring to him or her using the new name and/or pronoun. • Discuss and agree upon how the individual will adhere to the Organization’s dress code. • The individual may feel more comfortable working in a different position during his or her transition.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 31


• Discuss if there is a preference to remain in his or her current position or be redeployed. • If the individual is married or partnered, ask how you should refer to them throughout and after the transition (e.g., partner, wife, husband, etc.) and identify if there are any implications to employer provided benefits. DEVELOP A PROJECT PLAN • Discuss the expected timeline. • Discuss when the individual will begin his or her transition at work. This will probably be the point at which the individual begins to present consistently with his or her gender identity, including change of name, pronouns, dress, grooming, appearance and restroom use. • When to inform various affected persons. • Anticipated time off required for medical treatment, if known. Explain that normal sick pay and leave policies will apply. • Confirm who will be the Organization’s main point of contact (manager or HR representative) to manage the Organization’s involvement during the transition. ADDRESSING CONCERNS OF CO-WORKERS AND CLIENTS A lack of knowledge about transgender issues has the potential to create misunderstanding and tension in the workplace. While everyone is expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Organization’s policies, we must also ensure that a forum is made available for individuals to express their concerns, ask questions and learn about transitioning in the workplace. In addition to a potential workgroup meeting at which the individual’s manager or partner may announce the transition (see Appendix A), trainings or briefing sessions for people on transgender issues are suggested. This will reduce fear of the unknown and help promote a positive work environment for all employees. Trainings or briefing sessions should be completed prior to the individual’s transition. This provides important information to co-workers, managers and clients on what to expect when the individual begins his or her transition. Establishing some level of comfort as to what the transition is and why it is happening is important for preventing future misunderstandings or issues. People who raise concerns about a transgender co-worker should be provided the organization’s Anti-Harassment Policy. They should be coached to differentiate personal beliefs from appropriate workplace behaviors where necessary. They will need to work cooperatively with their co-workers regardless of their gender identity and that failure to do so could result in corrective action, including termination of their employment. If people express concern regarding the appearance of a transgender co-worker after reviewing ________’s policies, or if they are curious about the change in appearance, the manager may meet with team members individually to inform them of the change and to answer questions. If individuals have concerns with a transgender co-worker’s usage of a restroom or other sex segregated facility after reviewing ________’s policies, the individual with the concern may be permitted to use a different or single-occupancy facility, if such facilities exist at that work location. PRONOUN AND NAME CHANGES Individual’s records and work-related documents should be retained under the individual’s legal name (as reflected on identification documents verified at the start of employment) unless and until the individual makes a legal change. Where a person’s legal name does not match his or her new name, the new name should be used on all documentation, such as email, phone directory, company identification card or access badge, name plate, etc., except where records must match the legal name, such as on payroll and insurance documents. In everyday written and oral speech, the new name and pronouns should be used when the individual is ready. Upon legal change of name, submit a request to your local HR Department (a new Social Security card is required). This request should update all internal systems and benefits related systems. Work with local contact to order new business cards, building IDs, name plates and office related items. Note on pronouns: If a co-worker is transitioning and you are not certain which pronouns to use, it is appropriate to respectfully ask his or her name and which pronouns you should use. In general, it is considered insensitive to refer to someone by the wrong pronouns once you have established which set of pronouns he or she prefers. Again, transitioning individuals should be prepared to help educate their co-workers. CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 32


LEAVE BENEFITS FOR TRANSGENDER EMPLOYEES Managers should provide sufficient flexibility to meet the individual’s needs for medical appointments. Time off for medical procedures is to be treated the same as other scheduled medically necessary procedures. A transgender individual may encounter difficulty securing insurance coverage of their transition related medical care. Further, the FMLA does not necessarily cover all transition-related leave needs. Employers, with the assistance of counsel, should thus be prepared to discuss these difficulties with the individual. SURGERIES The process of transitioning may include one or more surgeries, but there is no one way to transition and each individual may take a different approach. Surgeries for those transitioning from male to female may include genital surgery, facial feminization and/or other feminizing procedures. Surgeries for those transitioning from female to male may include genital surgery, chest reconstruction and/or other masculinizing procedures. Recognize that a transitioning individual may or may not have these surgeries for any number of personal reasons and, furthermore, that surgery in and of itself is not the goal of a gender transition. As with other aspects of a transition, plans should be discussed and communicated only with affected parties in order to manage expectations and to minimize disruption. Medical information, including surgery plans communicated by an individual, should be treated confidentially. BENEFIT COVERAGE Please contact _______, Benefit Services Manager at (phone number/email address) for more information and/or assistance. IN SUMMARY Resources are available to help build awareness and understanding, many of which are identified below. Additional support is available the LGBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee (or relevant organization resource). The tone that each one of us sets will eventually determine the overall success of an employee transition at ________. While every person has the right to personal beliefs, we have the obligation as employees of ________ to support individuals and their careers based on their abilities as part of our __________ team. Each of us can be immensely impacted by an individual transitioning – by focusing on making it a positive experience, we all have the ability to gain from the experience. The individual transitioning may find support that provides retention and productivity benefits, and the other individuals involved can learn from the process and from the individual transitioning. A transition exemplifies characteristics that we can all learn from – courage, determination, overcoming challenges, creativity, and think outside the proverbial box. A gender transition is a challenge to acknowledge the person rather than the packaging. METHODOLOGY This document was created by reviewing other companies’ guidelines, having conversations with multiple people involved with transgender issues and having discussions with __________ people at all levels. This topic is evolving in the business environment, including ________. Should you have questions, concerns or suggestions for improvement you are encouraged to start a dialogue. This document has been created to open dialogue and help people through a potentially difficult and stressful experience. Its impact and effectiveness depends completely on the open and honest feedback of those who use it. Please email the LGBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee to address any thoughts or comments you have. INTERNAL RESOURCES Names and contact information for Diversity Committee, Diversity Manager etc. EXTERNAL RESOURCES Equality Illinois: www.eqil.org Gender PAC: www.genderpac.org Gender Education & Advocacy: www.gender.org Out & Equal Workplace Advocates: www.outandequal.org Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians and Gays: www.pflag.org Donna Rose - Transgender Workplace Issues Consultant: www.donnarose.com CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 33


Transgender at Work: www.tgender.net/taw National Center for Transgender Equality: www.nctequality.org Gender Dysphoria Association: www.hbigda.org Human Rights Campaign: www.hrc.org/workplace/transgender The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD): www.glaad.org The World Professional Association for Transgender Health: www.wpath.org The Transgender Law Center: www.transgenderlawcenter.org BOOKS As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto Wrapped in Blue - A Journey of Discovery by Donna Rose Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green APPENDIX A: JOB RELATED PLANNING FOR A GENDER TRANSITION These are the recommended steps in an on-the-job transition for a transgender individual at ________. It may be appropriate to adapt this generic process to fit an individual person or a specific location. This planning document is to be used as a supplemental tool for the purpose of planning a transition. ADVANCE PREPARATION 1. The transgender individual meets with local HR representative(s). The individual shares his or her transgender status and intent to transition. 2. The same HR representative(s) and the individual meet with the individual’s immediate manager to share the employee’s intent to transition (if the employee has not already done so). Additional Recommendation: HR representative(s) and immediate manager should meet with the area leadership for informing, garnering support and involving them appropriately in the announcement of the transition. 3. The appropriate set of stakeholders should be identified to plan the transition. This will include the individual, his or her manager and HR representative(s). If necessary, involve others as appropriate, such as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the LGBT Subcommittee of the Organization-wide Diversity Committee. The stakeholders should become familiar with educational resources, including the Organization’s policy and books on the subject. •Consider which people in the Organization you may need to have engaged at some point during the transition and when they need to be engaged. •Consider any specific issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. 4. Plan the transition. Include solutions to the issues listed here: a. The date of the transition (i.e., the first day of the change of gender presentation, pronoun usage and name). Recognize that the date of the transition will be driven primarily by the individual’s situation and concerns. b. How the individual’s colleagues, clients and/or vendors will be informed of the change. Before the general announcement, the individual may choose to talk to some of his or her co-workers to disclose his or her plans on a one-on-one basis. c. Whether there will be an educational workshop (a “Transgender 101”) given to staff. d. What changes will be made to records and systems and when. e. How the current policies against discrimination, harassment and benefits will protect this individual. f. How the dress code will be followed. g. The expected plan for use of gender-specific facilities, such as restrooms. h. Any time off required for medical treatment, if known. i. What Organization benefits are available to support the transition and effected by the transition.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 34


5. Make advance arrangements for name changes to be effective on the day of transition, so that nameplates, badges, etc. will be available on the first day. See the list in “The First Day of Full-Time Workplace Gender Transition” below. Consider how long certain HR functions take (e.g., legal name changes in human resource systems, company directory, etc.). THE DAY OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT 1. Hold a meeting with the HR manager, managers who work directly with the transitioning employee and any other person whom the individual directly interacts with often. Consider including non-local persons by teleconference. Also consider having the Organization’s guidelines or outside resource materials available to persons with questions. The transitioning individual should choose whether to be personally present at this meeting, depending on comfort level. While a face-to-face meeting is encouraged, some transitioning individuals may prefer an announcement in writing or by email. If the individual prefers a written approach, consider the following factors: a. The transitioning individual does not need to be in the meeting. b. A meeting has advantages because questions can be surfaced and addressed in an open forum and in a timely and sensitive manner. c. E-mail intended for a limited set of addressees can be forwarded to others. Even if marked in such a way that it cannot be duplicated or forwarded, it can still be pasted into another email. d. Communicating the transition can be sensitive and the needs of the transitioning individual should ultimately guide the process. 2. The manager of the department (or attorney, as appropriate) should make the announcement, in conjunction with the highest level partner in the group to show support. The manager should: a. Make it clear that the transitioning individual is valued and has management’s full support in making the transition. b. Explain the Organization’s policy and recommendations. c. Stress that on the transition day the individual will present him- or herself consistently with his or her gender identity and should be treated as such; for example, he or she should be called by the new name and new pronouns. d. Lead by example. Use the new name and pronouns in all official and unofficial communication. e. Make it clear that the transition does not impact the work of the business, and that work will continue as before. f. Answer people’s questions. g. If a “Transgender 101” workshop is part of the transition plan, announce it. It should be offered before the day of transition. THE FIRST DAY OF FULL-TIME WORKPLACE GENDER TRANSITION On the first day of transition, the individual’s manager should ensure the following steps are taken, as they would for a new or transferred individual: 1. Issue a new identification badge with a new name and photo. 2. Place a new nameplate on door/desk/cubicle/workstation. 3. Update any organization charts, mailing lists and other references to the new name. 4. Follow-up on any incomplete name change related issues (email, etc.) as explained on prior page under “Name Changes” section. 5. The manager/partner should plan to be on site with the worker the first day to make introductions, support the individual, ensure respectful and inclusive treatment and make sure that work returns to normal after a few hours.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 35


APPENDIX C: PARTNER BENEFIT AND COMPENSATION CHECKLIST ❏ Health ❏ Dental ❏ Vision ❏ Dependents’ medical coverage ❏ COBRA/benefits continuation ❏ FMLA/comparable benefits ❏ Bereavement leave ❏ Supplemental life insurance ❏ Relocation assistance ❏ Adoption assistance ❏ Retiree health care ❏ Pension plan benefits ❏ Retirement benefits ❏ Survivors’ benefits ❏ Tuition Assistant to spouses and children ❏ Counseling Services ❏ Employee Discounts

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 36


APPENDIX D: BEST EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES OBJECTIVE CHECKLIST ❏ “Sexual identity” and “gender identity and expression” are included in organization’s non-discrimination policy ❏ Dress code policy is sensitive and respective towards transgender employees. ❏ Diversity training is required and includes LGBT issues. ❏ The organization makes financial and other contributions to LGBT organizations. ❏ The organization actively seeks to employ LGBT employees. ❏ The organization participates in local diversity career fairs and conferences. ❏ A “gross-up” benefit is offered to Illinois employees with same-sex civil union partners for adverse treatment by federal tax laws. ❏ The organization provides gender transition guidelines documenting supportive organization policy on issuessuch as name changes, restroom accommodations, dress codes, and harassment. ❏ The organization has an officially recognized diversity council or workgroup with a mission that specifically includes LGBT issues. ❏ The organization has an officially recognized LGBT affinity group. ❏ The organization sponsors LGBT community events.

CORPORATE BEST PRACTICES 37


17 NORTH STATE STREET, SUITE 1020 CHICAGO, IL 60602 773.477.7173 INFO@EQIL.ORG WWW.EQIL.ORG

E

Q

U

A

L

I

T

Y

I

L

L

I

N

O

I

S

Profile for Equality Illinois

Corporate Best Practices: An Equality Illinois Guide to LGBT-Inclusive Workplaces in Illinois  

This guide aims to highlight the best practices of leading companies with regard to creating a welcoming and affirming workplace for lesbian...

Corporate Best Practices: An Equality Illinois Guide to LGBT-Inclusive Workplaces in Illinois  

This guide aims to highlight the best practices of leading companies with regard to creating a welcoming and affirming workplace for lesbian...

Profile for eqil
Advertisement