As debate and litigation focus on the rights of transgender students, school officials should be aware of issues facing a similar population: transgender employees. Courts and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have found that the rights of governmental employees were violated when supervisors:
- Continued to call an employee “he” after the individual had begun to identify herself as female.
- Refused to allow an employee to change his name from Cynthia to Cyrus in an employer’s computer system.
- Terminated an employee who announced plans to switch gender identity because “it would be disruptive … some people would view it as a moral issue, and … it would make [the employee’s] coworkers uncomfortable.”
School leaders should become familiar with the relevant laws and ensure that no employees, including transgender individuals, are discriminated against, harassed or otherwise treated unlawfully.