Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Looking For A Job?

If you’re trans you know how hard it is to get and keep a job.
Crain's Detroit Business
By Annalise Frank
June 28, 2020

  • Transgender visibility, understanding has increased in recent years, but trans people are still mistreated at work
  • Unemployment rate for trans people in Michigan was 19 percent in 2015 compared to overall rate of 5.4 percent
  • June 15 Supreme Court decision now protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination based on sex

The Black native Detroiter, 54, has faced discrimination on the job many times over. She is a cosmetologist, singer-songwriter, actress and model, among other pursuits.

But transgender individuals, especially those who are Black and other people of color, still get mistreated in the workplace, from misuse of pronouns to firing and violence.

More than a quarter of Michiganders who identify as transgender have been fired, denied a promotion or not been hired due to their status. That's according to the U.S. Transgender Survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality in 2015 — the most recent year available.
"There is a high tolerance and a high mentality for disrespect," said Jeynce Poindexter, transgender advocate at Equality Michigan and founding board member of the Trans Sistas of Color Project. "For misgendering, for outing ... A situation where someone may (not be visibly transgender) and going to work and someone goes and tells the superior, and they're fired. We have to have a level of respect so that we even can connect. If you don't honor me as a person, you're not going to hear me."
Trying to get your foot in the door is almost impossible for many trans people, especially if you are Black or a member of another minority.

When you are looking for a job there are so many reasons for them not to hire you that are legal reasons, unless they come out and say to your face… “We don’t hire trans people” all they have to do is say didn’t hire you because; A. We had better candidates, B. You were not a good fit for the company, C. Both of the above. It is so hard to prove otherwise.
Transphobia, a dearth of legal protections and lack of trust in the law has meant low public reporting of harassment or discrimination in the workplace for transgender individuals.

"A thing to keep in mind is it's certainly an undercount, because a lot of people still don't realize they have these remedies available," Kaplan said.
In Michigan, 43 LGBTQ-related charges were filed in fiscal 2019, or 1.8 percent of total equal employment opportunity charges, according to commission spokeswoman Kimberly Smith-Brown.
In Connecticut last year the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) reported that there were 21 cases of employment gender identity bias complaints filed.

It is easier prove discrimination when you have a job than when you are trying to find a job and that is especially true if you had a number of performance reviews under your belt. My advice if you think that they are out to get you is keep a logbook because if it every goes to court you will need to prove the discrimination. You just can’t say… “I was discriminated against!” You will need to say, “On June 30 I boxed 200 packages and I was told that I wasn’t working fast enough but I boxed the most that day, Joe and Jane only boxed a 100 boxes each.”

You need facts!

Jillian Weiss an employment discrimination lawyer wrote about the Supreme Court ruling was interviewed Queersplaining about the case and had this to say...
Callie: [00:06:22] I know you’ve been, picking apart the, the decisions.

So what, talk to me about what the decision specifically says. Cause we had talked about a couple of different ways. It could go like on a spectrum of like good and bad. And so kind of talk to me about where the decision actually falls on that spectrum and like what, what it exactly it says.

Jillian: [00:06:39] Well, I think it falls on the very good part of the spectrum.

What it basically says is that when you discriminate against people because of being gay or transgender, you are discriminating against them based on sex. And it’s very interesting because a number of courts had previously said that sex stereotyping is not permitted. And so therefore, if you discriminated against a transgender person, you are stereotyping their sex.

You’re saying a man. Shouldn’t look this way or women shouldn’t look this way or what I consider a man or a woman shouldn’t look this way. And a lot of people had concerns about that because it’s so am I being judged as a, you think I’m a man, so you’re, therefore you’re judging me based on me being what you think I should.
And there’s not a lot of courts that have ruled in that particular way. The sixth circuit did do it in this case. the Stevens case. But, you know, what the Supreme court was going to do with all that was really quite a different ball game. And it’s very interesting that justice Gorsuch, who is not only what we might call a textualist, but also practically a literalist.

It’s very interesting what he did with this decision. And so it, it really inline with that type of ruling where we’re saying it’s per se sex discrimination to discriminate based on being trans or gay. It’s not a form of stereotyping. It’s not, you know, something like it, it is just straight on full, you know, full speed ahead.
Callie: [00:08:51] Yeah. And, and what are the implications of that? 

Jillian: [00:08:54] Well, so my mind, and you’re currently to justice Alito who was highly disturbed by this ruling. It means in every statute where it says, sex it now means that you cannot take into consideration, whether someone is gay or transgender.
So we have the protections but like every other type of discrimination it is very hard to prove in court.

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