Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor
Even though it is not explicitly stated under Title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), many federal courts and a significant number of state and municipal laws consider gender identity and sexual orientation to be protected classes. Thus, it is best practice to prohibit discrimination against individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It is also important for an employer to be aware of issues affecting LGBT individuals and provide reasonable accommodations when it comes to rest rooms, dress codes, name changes, etc. An employer should also be particularly sensitive to the needs of LGBT individuals who may be transitioning or undergoing sexual reassignment surgery.
The following are steps an employer can take to manage individuals who may identify as LGBT.