- California will help transgender job seekers find employment, largely in the restaurant industry. The California Transgender Workplace Project (CTWP) wants to curb discrimination against transgender people and remove the stigma attached to the lifestyles they’ve chosen. The new program will look for friendly work environments where transgender people can feel safe.
- To get business owners onboard with the program, the state will fund the first 60 hours of workers’ wages, according to an NPR report. Based on a survey by UCLA’s Williams Institute, California has an adult transgender population of more than 220,000.
- A report titled "A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers," shows that the unemployment rate for transgender workers is 14%, or twice the national average. About 44% of working transgender people are unemployed. They’re also four times likely to have household incomes of less than $10,000 a year.
Transgender workers are not yet a protected class, but courts are hearing their discrimination cases. Employers could be liable for allowing hostile work environments to force transgender workers off the job, firing such workers unfairly or for refusing to hire transgender applicants based on their lifestyles.
HR’s biggest challenge in recruiting, hiring and integrating transgender people into the workforce could come from intolerant coworkers. Some local governments and organizations have taken measures to support transgender workers, like providing transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage. Reinforcing zero-tolerance policies for harassment and discrimination and disciplining violators might be necessary.