Transgender individuals not protected against discrimination

In California and around the country, many transgender men and women find getting jobs very difficult. In some cases, employers refuse to hire transgender employees either due to their own views or because they may believe that are a safety risk. Either way, discrimination against transgender individuals can make it very difficult for these individuals to earn a living.

One Orlando transgender woman told her story of being interviewed for a job. She said that an interviewer retracted a job offer immediately when she saw the woman’s I.D. and Social Security number as both documents still had her birth name and sex. The interviewer reportedly told the woman that she would be a danger to other female employees at the work site. Because the woman could not get a job, she was forced to move back with family members who were accepting of her gender.

According to a 2014 survey, the unemployment rate for trans individuals was about 14 percent. While Equality Florida is working to put a state-wide anti-discrimination bill into effect, transgender individuals are not protected against discrimination under federal law. In fact, 31 states including Florida do not have any state laws that make discrimination illegal.

In the state of California, it is unlawful for employers who have more than five employees to discriminate based on a person’s gender status. However, employers may potentially be able to determine that someone is transgender if they run an extensive background check. If a person faces workplace discrimination due to gender identity, an attorney may assist with filing a claim against the employer if there is proof that discrimination was at play.

FindLaw Network