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Guide issued on transgender employment discrimination

When it comes to hiring an individual, it seems like such decisions should be made based on the individual's qualifications. However, discrimination in the hiring process and after an individual is hired still occurs in Minnesota and across the nation. While many steps have been taken to address discrimination in the workplace due to a person's sexual orientation, a recent survey revealed that many transgendered individuals still suffer from employment discrimination.

According to a report issued by the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights, when it comes to hiring an individual, nearly 50 percent of employers seemed to hire those who were not perceived as transgendered, even if the transgendered applicant was more qualified. Not only might transgendered individuals face discrimination in the hiring process, but they may also be harassed and discriminated against in the workplace once hired. In fact, a 2011 survey reported that as many as 90 percent of individuals who identify as transgender stated they were discriminated against or harassed in the workplace.

Moreover, transgendered individuals face significant wage disparities when compared to non-transgendered individuals. Fifteen percent of individuals in the nation who identify as transgendered reportedly earn less than $10,000 annually. This often pushes these individuals into crimes such as drug crimes or sex crimes. And once an individual has a criminal record, his or her ability to find employment becomes significantly harder.

In order to address this situation, the DC Office of Human Rights, along with the National LGBTQ Task Force, created a resource guide for employers regarding transgender discrimination in the workplace. The guide provides information from human resource specialists that aims to help employers develop a more inclusive workplace for those who identify as transgendered.

This resource guide may be one step taken to reduce discrimination in the workplace, but in the end, discrimination may still occur. Transgendered individuals who feel they have been discriminated against in the hiring process or after being hired may want to explore their legal options.

Source: wusa9.com, "Report shows 48 percent of employers still discriminate against transgender applicants," Murugi Thande, June 18, 2016

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