Seattle Releases Employee Gender Identity Guidelines

Seattle Releases Employee Gender Identity Guidelines

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18172653976_67aeb8f7c5_seattleThursday, the Seattle Department of Human Resources released Guidance on Gender Identity in the Workplace, a new resource for City departments on gender identity and transitioning employees.

This guidance sets forth the City’s expectations to support transitioning, gender-diverse and transgender City employees. It also provides a roadmap to help departments better serve employees who transition gender while on the job.

“As a Welcoming City, we are committed to ensuring that every resident and visitor is treated with respect and dignity regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The guidance released today is part of my commitment to ensure that transgender and gender-diverse employees feel safe, respected and welcome in the workplace.”

“This policy is fundamental to the City’s core values to support people seeking to live authentically with the gender with which they identify. Also, an inclusive workplace drives innovation and attracts the top talent, so in that way it’s good for the City’s bottom line too because it leads to better service for our constituents,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle).

In March 2016, Murray signed an Executive Order outlining clear steps to ensure that City facilities continue to be safe and welcoming places for all residents and employees, including transgender and gender-diverse people. The Executive Order instructed the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) to work with community-based organizations to develop uniform guidance and trainings for City staff on providing safe and inclusive spaces for residents. It also directed SOCR to collaborate with the Seattle Department of Human Resources (SDHR) to develop best practices for creating gender inclusive work environments at the City. The City will supplement this guidance with training on gender identity for City employees, supervisors, and managers beginning in 2018.

“Discrimination remains pervasive against transgender and gender-diverse communities, and it lands most heavily on transgender people of color,” said Patricia Lally, Director of SOCR. “I hope this guidance can be a resource not just for Seattle City government, but also serve as a model for other governments and private employers.”

Guidance on Gender Identity in the Workplace is available to City departments and employees through SDHR and is available to the public at http://www.seattle.gov/civilrights/gender-justice-project/what-we-do.

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