In Colorado workplaces, discrimination is a matter that cannot be taken lightly. This is particularly true when it comes to discrimination based on gender identity, which many employers may not be fully aware of. However, failure to create an inclusive workplace for all employees is not only ethically wrong, it could also get you in legal trouble.
As stated by WorkplacFairness.org, anti-discrimination legislation is enforced on the federal and local level. In terms of federal statutes, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing laws, while local entities may also be charged with enforcing civil rights legislation. Because gender identity is included among the protected classes, individuals who feel as though they are being treated differently due to gender expression and identity can file a complaint with the appropriate office citing mistreatment by their employer.
Gender identity discrimination can entail a wide range of actions. For instance, individuals with an alternate gender identity must have access to the appropriate restroom, and must not face harassment by others for this option. Employers are also not permitted to discipline any workers based on their deviation from the company dress code if this deviation aligns with their gender identity. Additionally, it’s not permissible to fire a worker upon learning he or she plans to undergo sexual reassignment surgery or other treatments.
As an employer, it’s also important for you to have a grasp of the appropriate terms when talking about gender identity. A transgender person is one who deviates from the expected norm for their gender. Gender expression is the way this person will express the gender they align with, while transitioning refers to the act of changing one’s biological gender to suit the gender they feel most comfortable with.