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By Louise Herman

Unfortunately, there are many ways in which people from all walks of life experience discrimination. Though there are laws and statutes in place to prevent these occurrences, they still happen. In many instances, transgender employees are subject to many forms of prejudice and bias. If this has happened to you, you do not need to accept it. Keep reading to learn about your rights and discover how a Providence, Rhode Island employment discrimination lawyer can help you navigate any issues you may face in the workplace.

How Do Transgender Employees Face Discrimination?

There are a number of ways anyone of a protected class can experience discrimination from an employer, manager, or coworker in the workplace. This includes:

  • Making hiring or termination decisions based on a protected characteristic
  • Refusing to promote
  • Bullying
  • Ostracizing
  • Harassing
  • Favoring other employees
  • Making inappropriate jokes or comments
  • Giving fewer opportunities

However, transgender employees may experience other forms of discrimination. For example, if an employer forces you to use a restroom that does not align with your preferred gender, writes you up for dressing in a manner that aligns with your preferred gender, or continually and purposely misgenders you or uses the incorrect name, these can all constitute discrimination or a hostile work environment.

Similarly, an employer cannot force you to disclose your status or retaliate against you for announcing your preferred gender. They are also not allowed to cater to customers or clients who ask not to have a transgender employee help them.

What Protections Are in Place?

Luckily, there are protections in place to help protect those who would likely suffer from discrimination. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and in accordance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee (EEOC), there are statutes to protect against discrimination based on gender identity.

The Supreme Court has determined that Title VII, which addresses sex discrimination, applies to gender identity. This means a qualifying employer must follow anti-discrimination regulations. Similarly, there are state laws specific to Rhode Island explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in the workplace.

What Should I Do if I’ve Experienced Discrimination?

If you experience discrimination in the workplace, understanding your rights is vital. In some instances, speaking with your Human Resources department or upper management about your experience can help change the course of your employment. However, if you’ve already spoken out or fear for your physical safety if you were to speak with your employer, you do not have to. It’s vital to prioritize your health and well-being.

You may also want to pursue a lawsuit for emotional damage or economic damages from loss of income based on unlawful termination. It’s also vital to hold those responsible for unfair workplace practices for their treatment of those who fall into a protected class.

When you need an employment attorney, the Herman Law Group can help. Our dedicated legal team will carefully examine the circumstances of your case to do everything in our power to help you receive justice. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.