Will Trump’s Administration Affect California’s Law Protecting Transgender People against Discrimination in Employment?

Will Trump’s Administration Affect California’s Law Protecting Transgender People against Discrimination in Employment?

by Susana P. Solano, Esq.

During Obama’s presidency, many federal agencies, including the EEOC and OSHA, promulgated rules and guidance affording increased protections for transgender employees. It is yet to be seen whether the EEOC will continue to pursue the expansion of Title VII to include protection for transgender employees. However, the answer to the question of whether the Trump Administration will affect California’s law protecting transgender people against discrimination in employment is no, because California has its own law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. As such, transgender applicants for employment and employees will continue to be protected in California against unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation in employment. Employers should be familiar with state and local laws, post the Notice regarding all forms of unlawful discrimination made available by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), take a proactive role in prohibiting and preventing gender identity discrimination, including reviewing the Transgender Rights in the Workplace FAQ for Employers issued by the DFEH, and respond appropriately to a transgender employee’s request for an accommodation.