AFGE’s Women’s and Fair Practices Departments have developed a Transgender Inclusive Workplace Model Policy that locals can use to ensure that their worksite is inclusive and safe for transgender, gender non-conforming, and transitioning employees.
The model policy was first distributed at the AFGE Pride Meeting during the 2014 AFGE Legislative Conference. AFGE EEO Attorney Franklyn Fragomene worked with the Transgender Law Center on the policy, which includes definitions, specific policies and procedures, and a sample workplace transition plan.
“A number of our activists reached out to us, looking for guidance on this critical issue,” said AFGE National Vice President for Women and Fair Practices Augusta Y. Thomas. “As a union that prides itself on advocating for the rights of workers, it was high time that we put this together.”
Workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers have been brought to the forefront in government agencies and state legislatures. On March 4 the Maryland Senate passed a gender identity bill that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations based on one’s gender identity or expression.
In late February, the D.C. government announced that public and private health insurance plans regulated by the D.C. government would be required to cover transition-related care. This includes plans such as Medicaid, D.C. government employee insurance and private plans sold on the District’s health exchange. Other jurisdictions with similar policies include California, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado and Connecticut.
In early March House Democrats sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez asking that more be done to address the “high rates of unemployment and discrimination faced by LGBT workers around the country.”
AFGE has established the AFGE Pride Program that focuses on issues facing LGBT employees at work and builds solidarity within the union.
For more information on AFGE’s Federal Employees Transgender Model Policy, contact the Women’s and Fair Practices Departments at (202) 639-6417.