NEW TRANSGENDER RIGHTS IN THE WORKPLACE « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Expanded California Regulations Effective July 1, 2017

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently heeded Dylan’s lyric “the times they are a-changin’” and released Regulations Regarding Transgender Identity and Expression.

Effective July 1, 2017, the new regulations expand existing protections under FEHA (Fair Employment and Housing Act) for “gender identity” and “gender expression” to include individuals who identify as transgender and those who are “transitioning.” Transitioning is defined as “a process some transgender people go through to begin living as the gender with which they identify, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth. This process may include, but is not limited to changes in name and pronoun usage, facility usage, participation in employer-sponsored activities (e.g. sports teams, team-building projects, or volunteering), or undergoing hormone therapy, surgeries, or other medical procedures.”

In gender-neutral language, the new regulations, among other things:

  • Prohibit discrimination against transitioning employees and applicants, including a bar on employer queries about an applicant’s transitioning process.
  • With limited exceptions, direct most employers to ensure their dress codes do not require workers to dress or groom themselves in a manner inconsistent with their gender identity or gender expression.
  • Require employers to provide facilities that ensure employee privacy (e.g. locking toilet stalls, staggered schedules for showering, shower curtains, etc.) and proper neutral signage, such as “Restroom,” “Unisex,” “Gender Neutral,” and “All Gender Restroom.”

The DFEH’s user-friendly FAQs provide further assistance in complying with the new regulations.

See also:

For more information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

July 21, 2017