Thursday, April 26, 2007

The text of ENDA

The text of ENDA can be found here. There are two sections specifically pertinent to gender identity, sections 3 and 8. Here they are:

Section 3 (a)
(6) GENDER IDENTITY- The term `gender identity' means the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth.

This definition is not one I have seen before, though parts of it are familiar.

Section 8(a)(3) CERTAIN SHARED FACILITIES- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to establish an unlawful employment practice based on actual or perceived gender identity due to the denial of access to shared shower or dressing facilities in which being seen fully unclothed is unavoidable, provided that the employer provides reasonable access to adequate facilities that are not inconsistent with the employee's gender identity as established with the employer at the time of employment or upon notification to the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition, whichever is later.

This section appears to exempt shower and locker rooms facilities, but not ordinary bathrooms.

Section 8(a)(4) DRESS AND GROOMING STANDARDS- Nothing in this Act shall prohibit an employer from requiring an employee, during the employee's hours at work, to adhere to reasonable dress or grooming standards not prohibited by other provisions of Federal, State, or local law, provided that the employer permits any employee who has undergone gender transition prior to the time of employment, and any employee who has notified the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition after the time of employment, to adhere to the same dress or grooming standards for the gender to which the employee has transitioned or is transitioning.

This section appears to exempt dress codes, except to the extent that employees undergoing gender transition will be subject to the dress code of the opposite gender. There is considerable debate in the transgender community about whether or not there is an "opposite" gender when one does not adhere to the idea of binary gender. I also wonder whether the use of the term "gender" rather than "sex" is best. This section gives the answer for purposes of federal law.

More discussion later - I have to go teach. But I couldn't resist setting out the details when I saw that they were available.