When you start a new job, there are plenty of things to be nervous about like being on time, learning your new responsibilities and getting to know your new coworkers. What you should not have to be nervous about is how your coworkers, supervisors or customers react to your gender identity.
In the court ruling of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the Supreme Court held that workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity violates Title VII because it is a form of sex discrimination. This means that transgendered individuals cannot be discriminated against with regard to hiring, pay structure, training, work assignments, promotions, benefits, layoffs, firing or any other condition of employment.
What constitutes gender identity discrimination?
The reason why Title VII protects against gender identity discrimination is because it asks whether a member of the opposite sex would be subjected to the same treatment. For example, if an employee was born a biological female but now uses male pronouns and dresses as a male and an employer fires him because of it, it is sex discrimination if the employer wouldn’t take the same action were the employee originally a male.
Another example of gender identity discrimination is the intentional and repeated misgendering or use of dead names (a previous name that the individual no longer goes by). Employers also cannot prevent a transgender person from dressing based on their gender identity or using the bathroom that is consistent with their gender identity.
When harassment is chronic and severe enough to create a hostile work environment or it leads to discriminatory employment actions such as baseless termination, it becomes grounds for a Title VII lawsuit. Knowing your rights as an employee can help you seek maximum compensation for damages due to sex discrimination.