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Cleveland bans bias based on gender identity, expression

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in Human Resources

The Cleveland City Council has passed legislation expanding the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance to include transgender individuals.

By adding “gender identity and expression” to a list of protected classes that already includes sexual orientation, Cleveland now offers one of the most all-encompassing anti-discrimination statutes in the state.

Cleveland’s tolerance appears to be paying off. The city landed the 2014 Gay Games, an international competition the city hopes to boost its tourist industry.

Note: The new law means employees who work in Cleveland may now file local discrimination charges if they feel employers discriminated against them because of their “gender identity” or their expression of it.

Cities with similar ordinances have cited employers that tolerated making fun of effeminate men or masculine women. Employers should train managers to avoid these pitfalls. Regardless of local ordinances, the law generally requires employers to provide a harassment-free workplace for everyone.

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