Address Issues With Transgender or Cross Dressing Employees

Key Points

  • Transgender status is not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or Title VII, and therefore employers are not required to grant accommodations under the ADA or Title VII. However, an employer should be aware discrimination based on nonconformance with traditional gender stereotypes is a violation of Title VII.
  • An employer should be aware of state and municipal laws that may protect transgender individuals.
  • If a transgender or cross dressing employee approaches management with an issue, the employee's supervisor should identify the employee's needs. While an employer may not be obligated to accommodate a transgender employee, an employer should strive to make all employees comfortable in the workplace and provide accommodation if possible.
  • If issues exist with co-workers, the employer should consider sensitivity and diversity training. Many supervisors, managers and employees are not aware of transgender identity issues and training will raise awareness and increase tolerance.
  • Restrooms may be an issue in a workplace with transgender, transitioning, or cross dressing employees. Employers may elect to install a single occupant restroom or put a lock on the inside of the bathroom door.

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