Does My Employer Have A Duty To Accommodate Me As A Transgender Employee?
It is illegal under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act for your employer to discriminate against you as a transgender employee or prospective employee. Discrimination is prohibited against people who are transgender or are perceived to be transgender. This includes all aspects of your employment, such as hiring, salary, benefits, job duties, promotion, and termination. In addition, your employer is required to accommodate your reasonable requests as a transgender employee.
When Can Your Employer Be Required to Provide a Reasonable Accommodation?
Many people do not believe that transgenderism should be considered a psychological or medical condition entitling an employee to an accommodation. However, California’s disability laws have de-stigmatized a person’s transgender status and require an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation if requested. Reasonable accommodations would be required if you meet these conditions:
- You are a qualified person with a disability.
- You could do the basic duties of the job with the accommodation.
Employer accommodations must allow you to live according to your gender identity and to perform your job. Some types of accommodation that could be requested include:
- Time off work for health care appointments—including therapy
- Leaves of absences for surgeries
If you have a serious medical condition related to your transgender status, you may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). You could qualify for leave time under FMLA and CFRA if you need surgery for a sex change operation or are off work for three consecutive days or more and are seeking continuing treatment, including counseling and hormone replacement therapy.
If you are a transgender employee and believe you need to request an accommodation, it is best to first contact an experienced employment discrimination attorney to understand your legal rights under the employment laws that could apply to your situation. Start an online chat or call me at 949-679-9909 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to begin learning about your legal options.