FEHC Issues New Regs Regarding Transgender Identity and Expression

California Employment Law Letter

Matthew A. Goodin, a Senior Attorney in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s San Francisco office, authored an article in the California Employment Law Letter, titled “FEHC Issues New Regs Regarding Transgender Identity and Expression.”

Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full version in PDF format):

The 2016 National Transgender Discrimination Survey showed that 26 percent of transgender people have lost a job because of bias and that 50 percent have been harassed on the job. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) has adopted new regulations relating to gender identity and expression. These new regulations took effect July 1, 2017. The regulations broaden the effect of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to include protections for transgender employees and add new requirements for employers that may  require revisions to current policies and employee handbooks.

New protection for ‘transitioning’ employees

The FEHA already prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. The new regulations add protection for “transitioning” employees. The regulations define “transitioning” as a process in which an individual begins living as the gender he or she identifies with. The process may include changes in name and pronoun usage, participation in employer-sponsored activities, usage of facilities, undergoing hormone therapy, and other related medical procedures. Employers may not require transitioning employees to undergo or provide proof of any particular medical treatment to use facilities designated for use by a particular gender, such as restrooms.

Under the new regulations, the FEHA now specifically prohibits discrimination against employees who are transitioning or who have transitioned.