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How do you interview transgender job applicants?

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Do you have to treat transgendered job applicants differently? Which box, if any, do you check on the application—male or female? And what special laws must you know about?

Federal workplace anti-discrimination laws don’t specifically extend protection to transgendered people (those who present themselves as members of the opposite sex). However, 13 states—California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington—plus several cities and counties have passed such laws.

A new court ruling shows that even if your state or city doesn’t have such a law, your organization may still face liability for discriminating against transgendered people. That’s why it’s wise to handle interviews with transgendered people just as you would with anyone—focused on job-related information only.

Case In Point: Raul Lopez is a biological male ...(register to read more)

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Joe August 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Best practices dictate that one uses the gender pronouns and the name with which an individual identifies or prefers to address or speak about that person. For example, the first person used as an example in this article should be referred to with feminine gender pronouns ONLY and by the name that she uses ONLY. It can deeply hurt the person if this best practice is not employed — unless of course, the point is to hurt or be rude to the individual. In which case, such intent unambiguously steps over the legal line of sexual harassment.


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