“If I could sum up why I’m committed to the HR Girlfriends community it would come down to because we are ‘….in this together.'”

~Sana’ Rasul, Chief Girlfriend

Q&A: One of our employees has disclosed to me that they are trans and has asked to be addressed as female. How can we best be supportive of them?

First, let this employee know that you support her and ask her how she defines support, i.e., what support she’d like to receive. Then ensure she receives fair and equal treatment in the workplace. Trans individuals are often the victims of workplace harassment. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, “more than one in four transgender people have lost a job due to bias, and more than three-fourths have experienced some form of workplace discrimination.”

You can also support your trans employee by stressing your commitment to equal employment and related protections. Affirm her right to express her gender freely and without discrimination. Use her correct pronouns and new name if she’s chosen one. Encourage her to choose what restroom she wants to use. And ask her what details she’d like shared with her colleagues and whether she’d like her email and other company profiles updated.

You won’t be able to modify legal documents like the I-9 unless she legally changes her name, but you can ask her if she’d like changes made to any non-legal documents. You do not need, and she should not have to provide, any medical or legal documentation of her gender identity.

If you or she have concerns about discrimination, it might be beneficial to remind employees about your prohibitions on harassment, relevant company policies, equal employment opportunity, and expected behavior. You might also consider adding a transgender-inclusive policy in your handbook. We have one available in the HR Support Center.

Answer from Kyle, PHR:

Kyle is a professional author, editor, and researcher specializing in workplace culture, retention strategies, and employee engagement. He has previously worked with book publishers, educational institutions, magazines, news and opinion websites, nationally-known business leaders, and non-profit organizations. He has a BA in English, an MA in philosophy, and a PHR certification.

Leave a comment

Never miss an opportunity to earn HRCI/SHRM credits, identify a mentor, or connect 1:1 with another HR Girlfriend in your city or across the country.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Author picture

HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

Are You IN?
Or Are You OUT?

It’s time you join forces with a community of like-minded peers ready to tackle the issues unique to the women of HR.
  • All
  • Affirmation
  • Career Mondays
  • Certification
  • COVID-19
  • CyberSAFE
  • Guest Blogger
  • HR Advisor
  • HR Law Alert
  • HR Q&A
  • HR Reading
  • HR Reel Talk
  • Join Our Team - Apply Now
  • Membership
  • Talent Management
All
  • All
  • Affirmation
  • Career Mondays
  • Certification
  • COVID-19
  • CyberSAFE
  • Guest Blogger
  • HR Advisor
  • HR Law Alert
  • HR Q&A
  • HR Reading
  • HR Reel Talk
  • Join Our Team - Apply Now
  • Membership
  • Talent Management
Career Mondays

Career Monday: 14 Habits That Make You a More Valuable Employee

Making yourself more valuable to your employer leads to a more successful career. More opportunities open up when you have an impressive resume and a ...
Read More →
HR Q&A

Q&A: We’re not bound by any law requiring us to conduct background checks, but we choose to do them for all new hires. Should we also do them when we rehire an employee?

It’s up to you. Conducting a background check when hiring a former employee would keep the process simple and straightforward. Every exception you add to ...
Read More →
Affirmation

Affirmation: I Am Open To Alternatives

I am untethered by expectations and standards set by others. I am open to alternatives in whatever I participate in. Being a free thinker is ...
Read More →
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap