Issued on the anniversary of the Bostock decision, the EEOC has published fresh guidance addressing “Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” While the guidance is non-binding, it offers employers insight into the Commission’s perspectives on the impact of Bostock in the workplace and offers new technical assistance. Many will find the topics illuminating as it addresses common questions concerning the scope of the ruling, religious and ministerial exceptions, and the effect on non-LGBTQ job applicants and employees.
As we conclude Pride Month, it is an ideal time to pose the question, “Is your business on the right road to compliance and inclusivity?”
- Employers who are subject to Title VII are now explicitly required to extend the same protections that existed in the statute prohibiting race, color, religion and national origin discrimination—do your policies align with this in mind?
- Review and update your policies and be prepared to address how you handle complaints.
- Does the investigation record reflect that the complaint was earnestly reviewed and necessary corrective action was taken?
- How often are you training?
- What is the quality and substance of the training?
- Ask yourself, “What are the scenarios that are unique to the LGBTQ community that might need to be folded into training courses?”
- Are your managers implementing sensitivity training that highlights self-awareness for a more inclusive and respectful workplace?
Dress Code and Restrooms
- Is your policy grounded in a binary (male/female) perspective of the workforce?
- How are these policies applied to an employee who identifies outside of their own gender assignment at birth or identifies as non-binary?
Privacy and Confidentiality
- Are you allowing space for employees to voluntarily provide information on self-identity?
- Do you have forms that require employees to identify in a specific fashion? (Male/Female, Spouse vs. Husband/Wife)
- Are you ensuring all information sent to HR management is kept confidential?
Workplace Inclusion Programs
- This is a tangible way for businesses to create a safe environment to promote diversity and inclusion.
- Offer workshops and support mentoring programs to make sure that LGBTQ employees are not only hired and promoted, but they’re also given the tools to really succeed. This promotes retention and employee satisfaction.