Ask HR: How Do We Support Our Transgender Employee?
Ask HR: How Do We Support Our Transgender Employee?

Ask HR: How Do We Support Our Transgender Employee?

Somewhere between half a million and a million individuals in the U.S. identify as transgender, and that number continues to grow. As the transgender population grows, so does the chance that one of your employees will ask questions about this. What should you do when one of your employees discloses the fact that they are transgender? The experts at HR Support Center are skilled at handling all types of situations, including this one. Here's our advice for making sure you are treating every member of your staff respectfully.

Question:

One of our new employees has disclosed to me that she is transgender and has asked to be addressed as female. What is the best way to approach this matter with her co-workers?

Answer from Eric, HR Pro:

We recommend that you affirm the employee’s right to express her gender freely and without discrimination. This includes using the correct pronouns and a new proper name, if she’s chosen one.

As to how to inform everyone at your organization that they should address this employee as female, the steps and timing of transitioning vary, so consult with the employee on what specific information she would like shared with her colleagues. You should also ask her whether she’d like her email and other company profiles updated. Don’t ask her for unnecessary details, but allow her to share what she wants. While you won’t be able to change legal documents (e.g., form I-9) unless she legally changes her name, you can change her name on non-legal documents if she requests it.

Transgender individuals are often the victims of workplace harassment, so it is essential to stress your commitment to equal employment and related protections. You might also want to remind employees about your prohibitions on harassment, relevant company policies, equal employment opportunity, and expected behavior.

Regarding restroom use, transgender employees should be allowed to choose the safest and most appropriate option for themselves. Medical or legal documentation of an employee’s gender identity, such as proof of surgeries, should not be required. Remember that not all transgender people undergo a medical transition. Co-workers who have personal concerns should be invited to have an honest discussion with management or an HR representative.

Ensuring fair and equal treatment will help make transgender employees feel valued and build trust in your organization.


Eric, HR ProEric has extensive experience in HR, management, and training. He has held several senior HR positions, including as the HR & Operations Manager for an award-winning interactive marketing agency and as HR Director for a national law firm. Eric graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from the University of Oregon with a minor in Business Administration. Eric is also active in the community, volunteering with the regional Human Resources Management Association Advocacy Team and with youth training programs.


This content came from a team of HR professionals at HR Support Center. Businesses like yours can pay a yearly fee for HR Support Center and receive awesome subscription perks like these:

* Legal advice
* Employee handbook help (creating a new one or updating an existing one)
* Custom HR forms, letters, tools, and other documents
* Tons of Q&A
* News on government activity that could affect you
* Training on common HR activities like hiring
* Thought leadership articles

The list goes on. HR Support Center is not only feature rich, it's inexpensive: one entire year of HR Support Center is cheaper than one hour of a typical attorney's time. Contact us today to sign up.


Subscribe to Our Resource Center Digest

Enter your email below to receive a weekly recap of the latest articles from Paycor's Resource Center.

Check your inbox for an email confirming your subscription. Enjoy!

More to Discover

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the BUILD WEB SUMMIT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the BUILD WEB SUMMIT

BUILD a Company No One Wants to Leave More than 10,000 HR professionals registered for Paycor’s two-day BUILD Web Summit! Industry experts offered insights on how to build a company no one wants to leave. If you missed the Summit, here’s a quick overview of each session. BUILD a Compelling Benefits Package In a hypercompetitive job market, the benefits you offer can help you recruit, engage and retain talent. Our speaker, Andrea Toben, says that building the right benefits package is one of the most important things you’ll do in the life of your business. Andrea advises companies to consider these non-traditional programs. Financial BenefitsFinancial and estate planning assistance Budgeting and cash-flow tracking tools Credit monitoring...

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Burnout Resistant Culture

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Burnout Resistant Culture

“The U.S. ranks 30th out of 38 countries in work-life balance which is the bottom 20%. Over 11% of employees in America work more than 50 hours per week.” Join us as we discuss ways to attack burnout from a work efficiency perspective in order to build a burnout resistant culture. Employers need to encourage and reward work efficiency in conjunction with work-life balance, instead of long, unproductive hours. Speaker: Eugene Partridge Eugene Partridge, III is the Director of Procurement for Paycor, Inc., as well as a speaker, author and music producer. He uses his influence to invoke change and his voice to deliver life changing messages of inspiration. He was honored to be a TEDx speaker in May 2019. He has spoken for Cincinnati USA...

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Remote Workplace

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Remote Workplace

Remote employees are more common than ever before. Employing a remote workforce can retain top talent, reduce expenses, and boost engagement for your organization. Learn best practices for creating HR policies, training and engaging your remote employees, and supporting leaders. We will explore new trends of today’s remote workforce. Speaker: Sarah Laboranti Sarah Laboranti is a motivated HR professional with over nineteen years of experience. She is passionate about bringing new ideas to the workforce and leveraging HR’s important role in the organization. She has an upbeat attitude toward the role of Human Resources, in which HR is empowered to “do the right thing” for employees, leaders, the business, and the community.

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Culture of Feedback

BUILD Web Summit - Build a Culture of Feedback

Peter Drucker said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” HR professionals who connect the two have a powerful impact on their organization. In this session, we’ll review practical ways to activate and reinforce culture. We’ll also review ways to stimulate conversations about culture from the top to the grass-roots. Speaker: Karen Crone Karen is Paycor’s CHRO. She’s responsible for scaling Paycor’s people practices in support of its rapid growth, and for reinforcing its strong culture across an evolving geographic footprint. Over the last nine years, Karen has helped Paycor grow from 400 to over 1,800 associates. Her current focus is on enhancing Paycor’s culture and developing its future leaders. She’s a graduate of Miami University and...