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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Transgender Workplace Diversity Workshop

On Wednesday, June 27, I will be holding a workshop on transgender workplace diversity issues for HR and legal professionals. I'm pleased to note that the Human Resources Certification Institute will give 5 credits towards Human Resources professional certifications sponsored by the Institute. I'm also pleased to note that the HR community has been very receptive to the issues raised by the workshop, and we have representatives from Fortune 500 companies, the legal community and public agencies.

I am posting here the table of contents for the training manual that the attendees will receive, which tracks the order of presentation during the workshop. Some people might be surprised at the long list of issues. The importance of this cannot be overstated. There are many issues that can crop up during workplace gender transition, and these can create major organizational headaches. The good news, however, is that many of them are foreseeable, and planning in advance can reduce or eliminate the problems.

Ramapo College will be producing a limited number of workshop materials (DVDs and handbooks) for sale after the workshop. If you are interested, please email me to reserve a copy.

Transgender Workplace Diversity Workshop
Ramapo College of New Jersey
June 27, 2007

Summary of Contents

I. Transgender basics
A. Terminology
B. Statutes and Case Law
C. Types of corporate and organizational policies

II. Organizational Readiness
A. Preparation for Policy Development
B. Leadership Issues
C. Training Issues
D. Customer/client issues

III. Implementing Transition Guidelines
A. Creating step by step procedures
B. Clarity around employee behavioral norms
C. Drafting transition plans

IV. Communications strategies
A. Directors, Officers and Senior Managers
B. Direct Reports
C. Frequent workplace contacts
D. Customers and clients

Expanded Table of Contents

I. Transgender basics

A. Terminology

1. Transgender
a. Definition
c. Transsexual and other terms
d. Intersex distinguished
e. Terms to avoid

2. Gender identity
a. Definition
b. Gender and sex distinguished
c. Gender expression

3. Gender transition
a. Definition
b. Starting and ending points
c. Process
d. Medical issues impacting the workplace
e. Physical changes to expect

B. Statutes and Case Law

1. States and cities with statutes
a. Types of statute
b. Statutory definitions
c. Home rule issues
2. States and cities with executive orders
3. States and cities with court opinions
a. sex discrimination analogy
b. disability analogy
4. Federal court opinions
5. Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act legislation

C. Organizational policy issues

1. EEO/Diversity policies
a. Adding “sexual orientation”
b. Adding “gender identity”
c. Adding “gender expression”
d. Adding “gender characteristics”

2. Anti-harassment policies
a. Defining “harassment” in a transgender context
b. Behavioral norms for questions and comments
c. Distinguishing legitimate mistakes
d. Corrective action

3. Medical privacy policy
a. Medical privacy statutes: HIPAA, ADA, State laws
b. Pre-employment questions
b. Post-employment questions
c. Questions about transition
d. Questions about surgery
e. Security clearance reporting

4. Dress Codes
a. Gender polarity/neutrality
b. Types of dress codes
c. Dress code enforcement issues

5. Health care policies
a. Transgender-specific health care procedures
b. Health care insurance exclusions
c. Diversity index issues
d. HIPAA issues

6. Leave policies
a. Leave for surgical procedures
b. Leave procedures
c. FMLA issues

6. Records change issues
a. Proof requirements
b. SSA no-match letters
c. Changing old records
d. Changing database information
e. New documents

7. Security clearance policies
a. Security clearance reportable events
b. Notification of industrial security

8. Bathroom policies
a. OSHA regulations
b. state statutes requiring male/female facilities
c. privacy considerations
d. cultural preferences
e. single use facilities
f. usage criteria

9. Dressing room and shower room policies
a. additional considerations
b. additional usage criteria

10. Communication policies
a. Organizational communications
b. Media communications
c. Transgender employee
d. Co-workers
d. Customers and clients

II. Organizational Readiness

A. Preparation for policy development

1. Policy, Procedures and Guidelines
2. Graduated information control
3. Senior management training/presentations
4. The transgender population number issue

B. Leadership issues

1. Notice to organization and first responders
a. Organizational diversity training considerations
b. Graduated policies
c. Availability of gender transition guidelines

2. Confidentiality
a. Disability, HIPAA and right to privacy issues
b. Sharing within HR
c. Sharing with management
d. Sharing with co-workers
e. Requests for information

3. Senior and line manager notification
a. Raising the issue
b. Addressing management concerns
c. Notification of company policy
d. Explaining gender transition
e. Behavioral norms
f. Confidentiality
g. Gender transition planning

4. Gender transition leader
a. Need for leadership in gender transition
b. Time and planning requirements
c. Transition planning role
d. Anti-harassment role
e. Training liaison role
f. Diversity champion and affinity group roles

C. Training Issues
1. Population selection process
2. Policy review training sessions
3. Policy review training leader selection
4. Policy review session agenda
5. Materials for session
6. Presence or absence of transitioning employee
7. Dealing with co-worker concerns
8. Addressing prejudice

D. Customer/client issues
1. Goals of customer communications
2. Scripts
3. Messages to avoid
4. Environments
a. Professional office environments
b. Retail environments
c. Guest environments

III. Human Resources issues

A. Creating step by step procedures

1. Step One – Talking to the transgender employee
2. Step Two – Talking to management
3. Step Three – Facilitating transition planning
4. Step Four – Notifying and training co-workers

B. Clarity around employee behavioral norms

1. Forms of address
2. Confidentiality
3. Medical Privacy
4. Religious/moral concerns
5. Co-worker privacy concerns
6. Harassment
7. Corrective action

C. Drafting transition plans

1. Timeline
2. Dress
3. Company resources
4. ID changes
5. Security clearance issues
6. Facilities usage
7. Norms of conduct
8. Transition guidelines
9. Complaint procedures
10. Deviations from plan
11. Plan amendment
12. Change of location
13. Ending date

IV. Communications strategies

A. Directors, Officers and Senior Managers

1. Goal: Buy-in for Employer of Choice Environment
2. Method: Executive presentation

B. Direct Reports

1. Goals: Cultural Competence and Productivity
2. Method: HR contact

C. Frequent workplace contacts

1. Goals: Cultural Competence and Positive Workplace Environment
2. Method: Policy Review Session

D. Customers and clients

1. Goals: Positive Sales Environment and Diversity Leadership
2. Method: Scripted Encounter

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