Protecting LGBTQIA individuals is an important part of having an inclusive workplace. Some legal protections do exist. However, LGBTQIA individuals still face discrimination, harassment and other issues in the workplace. Last year’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia is an example. This ruling determined that firing employees due to transgender status or sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. At the state level, just 21 states have laws that prohibit job discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Learn more about five ways to create an inclusive workplace environment with LGBTQIA policies.
Importance of LGBTQIA Workplace Policies
Creating LGBTQIA policies in the workplace helps ensure that your organization is in compliance with legal requirements. These policies provide other benefits too. For example, they boost employee morale, increase job satisfaction and help employers attract and retain talent. Businesses can develop workplace policies that protect LGBTQIA individuals in the following ways.
Review Company Policies and Training Procedures
Businesses should review current company policies and update them to be inclusive. This includes anti-harassment policies and Equal Employment Opportunity statements. Employers can review current policies and make changes to them as needed. For example, workplace training procedures might mention zero tolerance for discrimination against LGBTQIA individuals.
Provide Resources and Guidelines for Transgender Employees
Companies might consider offering resources for employees who plan to or are going through the gender transition process. HR personnel should discuss company healthcare benefits, and procedures that are or aren’t covered during a gender transition. Providing guidelines for workplace changes that will occur is important too. This includes updating personnel records for employees during or after gender transition.
Communicate LGBTQIA Policies Clearly
Existing or updated LGBTQIA workplace policies need to be clearly communicated to staff. Employees can sign a form t0 acknowledge that they read and understand them. Also, businesses can post information about these policies in a common area, like a break room.
Implement Reporting Procedures
Understanding how to report discrimination or harassment against LGBTQIA employees is crucial in an inclusive workplace. These reporting procedures should be easy to follow. When these incidences are reported, companies should promptly investigate and take appropriate action.
Provide Inclusive Employee Benefits
In some cases, employee benefits might not be inclusive for LGBTQIA individuals. For example, employee benefits can be updated to include benefits for same sex spouses or domestic partners. Companies can consider making changes to ensure more inclusive healthcare coverage or disability benefits for LGBTQIA employees.
If your company needs help with creating LGBTQIA policies, The Hopkins Group can help. We can assist you in developing inclusive HR policies, and ensuring that your business is compliant with current laws that protect LGBTQIA individuals from workplace discrimination. Please contact us for more information on our HR services