Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Interesting Numbers

Connecticut has had a gender inclusive non-discrimination law since 2011 and one of the protections is for employment discrimination. I follow an employment blog here in Connecticut and this week’s topic is gender identity discrimination.
Gender Identity Claims: Is It All About Restroom Access? Not Quite
Connecticut Employment Law Blog
By Daniel Schwartz
December 7th, 2015

The talk was mainly informal but it was a lively discussion of some of the critical components of the law over the last few years.

Back in 2011 (seems so long ago, right?), the Connecticut General Assembly passed a wide-ranging bill protecting gender identity and expression.  The impact of the law was debated back then. Would it be significant? Would it lead to an increase in claims?
The blog reports that only 15 cases have been reported since the law went into effect which seems like an awful low number of cases (I wrote about the 2015 numbers here.). He goes on to write,
Why? The reasons can be debated — perhaps fear, lack of awareness, an improving economy? — but the claims represent just a tiny fraction of the 7500+ claims filed over that time.
Well I have my theories; I think employment discrimination is much more prevalent than the number of cases show. What I hear from a lot of transgender people say they have been fired from their job when they came out but they are afraid to file a complaint because it will show up on a background check. I know someone who brought a case of discrimination back before the law and back before the CT Commission Human Rights and Opportunities Declaratory Ruling and if you Google the person’s name the lawsuit shows up.

Also many trans people also have a hard time finding employment because you never really know they reason why they didn’t hire you. Unless the employer is stupid enough to come out and say “I don’t want any of your kind working for me.”

In the article he writes that more companies are installing gender neutral bathrooms and I think they are a great idea as long as the employer doesn’t force the trans person to use them. In Illinois the Palatine Township High School District 211 wanted to have a trans girl student use a private area in the girl’s locker room but it is being rejected by the Office of Civil Rights. You should give the choice for anyone to use a private area or a gender neutral bathroom but you shouldn’t force a trans person to use it.

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