Gender Identity and the Workplace

Published on 7/23/2018
Categories: EEOC, Federal Law, Gender Identity, Illinois Human Rights Act, Illinois Law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Vital Records Act

Gender identity is a protected class against discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act.[1] The law protects employees against discrimination in all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, selection, promotion, transfer, pay, tenure, discharge, and discipline. To ensure compliance, employers are encouraged to participate in diversity training,[2] revise workplace policies,[3] and to promote inclusivity.

Employers should also note that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prohibits gender identity discrimination under Title VII.[4] EEOC has found that examples of unlawful discrimination include: failure to hire because a person is transgender,[5] firing an employee based on a gender transition,[6] intentional misuse of a transgender employee’s new name and pronoun,[7] and denying an employee equal restroom access.[8] In interpreting the Illinois Human Rights Act, state courts look to federal law.[9]

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