Thursday, January 26, 2017

Your Papers Please.

When you apply for a job you have to submit your identification papers to prove you are a citizen or that you are in the country legally. You also have to give references from former employers which can be a major stumbling block for many trans people.
The High-Stakes Name Game for Transgender Job-Hunters
‘Have you ever been known by any other name’ is a far from innocuous question for transgender people, who may immediately out themselves with an honest answer.
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
January 25, 2017

For most job applicants, the question “Have you ever been known by any other name?” is not a stumbling block.

If you have a maiden name—or if you simply hated your first name and changed it from Jacqueline to Jessica—it’s unlikely that disclosing a previous alias on an application or a background check authorization form would adversely affect your chances of employment.

But for transgender applicants, that question can be a perilous catch-22: Unless your pre-transition name was gender-neutral, answering it honestly will out you. But leaving it blank could cause problems, too.

“If you say that no prior names were used when that’s actually not the case, that could leave you open to the charge of lying on the application, which could give your employer reason to fire you,” Jillian Weiss, the executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, told The Daily Beast.
Here in Connecticut a trans employee of one of the casinos was fired for not listing their previous name, which was ironic because the casino had hired other trans people and she didn’t really need to not disclose her old name.

Also in Connecticut they cannot ask you your criminal history; Connecticut is one of the few states that “Ban the Box.” The article goes on to say,
“It is very difficult in this day and age for a person to remain ‘stealth,’” the Transgender Law Center notes in a fact sheet on employment rights. “This is because employers may have access to databases tied to a person’s social security number, which may contain information about previous name and gender information.”
One of the problems is with your old employer, they don’t have to change your name on your employment history, nor do colleges and universities and they can create a big hurdle.

What is out there on the internet is always out there. I had to laugh when I did a google vanity search of my name; one site had me as living with myself. It had both my name and my old name as living at my address.

Which brings me to a rather humorous story; when they shut down the factory where I worked for almost 30 years, I transitioned the day that I was laid off. I notified them of my name change and gender change and they changed my paperwork accordingly, well when my COBA ran out the fun began. My retirement checks had my new name on them but my health insurance had my old name.

After many email iterations saying they had the wrong name on my health insurance they finally figured it out. They had my female self as retired and my old male self as still working for the company, once they figured it out I asked if that would mean that I get two checks? One check for Diana’s retirement pay and one for my male self for working? They said nice try, but no. Oh well you can’t blame a gal for trying.

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