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Appendix C: Best practices checklist

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Privacy and confidentiality

  • Maximize privacy and confidentiality of any information related to a trans person’s gender identity, or to the extent the trans persons wishes. This includes information that directly or indirectly identifies that a person’s sex is different from their gender identity.
  • Keep a person’s transgender history and medical information private and confidential, and limited to only relevant information and people directly involved in helping to meet the person’s needs.
  • All information should remain exclusively with designated personnel (such as the human resources person) in a secure filing system to protect the person’s confidentiality.

Identification documentation and records

  • Recognize a trans person’s preferred name and gender in all administrative systems and documents (including hard copies and electronic).
  • Show how any requirement for a person’s ”legal” name and gender is legitimate (reasonable and bona fide) in the circumstances.
  • Undertake system reviews to identify how electronic databases, IT systems and other relevant information processes can be modified to recognize a person’s chosen name and gender when it does not match legal documents.

Collecting data on sex and gender

  • Consider whether there is a legitimate need to ask for and collect information about sex/gender. If yes, provide options beyond the binary of male/female or man/woman.[184]
  • To the greatest extent possible, allow people to self-identify their sex or gender identity.[185] The option of a blank box, for example, is the most inclusive.
  • Protect any information indicating transgender status as confidential.

Dress code policy

  • Do not base it on gender stereotypes, and apply it consistently to all people, regardless of their gender identity or expression.
  • Make it inclusive of trans people, and identify that everyone may dress in accordance with their lived gender identity or gender expression.

Washrooms and change facilities policy

  • Recognize the right of trans people to access facilities based on their lived gender identity.
  • Communicate that a trans person will not be required to use a separate facility because of the preferences or negative attitudes of others.
  • Make clear that accommodation options will be provided on an individualized basis, if a trans person requests.
  • Provide privacy options that anyone in a change room may choose to use.
  • Provide information on where people can find accessible, all-gender washrooms.

Organization gender transition guideline[186]

  • Guidelines should be in place before a transitioning employee comes forward. They provide clear direction for managers on how to generally help transitioning employees, while still recognizing the obligation to take the individual’s needs into account. This sends a signal to everyone that transitioning employees will be supported.
  • Guidelines should address:
  • A lead contact person to assist the transitioning employee
  • What a transitioning employee can expect from management
  • Expectations of management and other staff, transitioning employees in facilitating a successful workplace transition
  • Related policies and practices for assisting with the transition process, such as: washroom policies, dress code policies, confidentiality and privacy, recognizing the person’s new name in documentation and records, anti-harassment policies, dealing with any individual accommodation needs as well as training for management, staff and clients.

Individualized gender transition accommodation plan

  • Working together, the employee, employer and union representatives (where the employee has asked for their involvement) may wish to create a transition plan to address what, if any, accommodations may be needed in the workplace related to the steps the employee is taking in the transition process.
  • Each trans person’s situation will vary, and an individualized transition plan will make clear what steps will be taken given the needs of the particular employee.
  • It can be useful to discuss timelines and dates when the employee would like to:
  • Be addressed by their new name and new pronoun
  • Begin expressing their gender identity through clothing, in keeping with the workplace dress code
  • Use washroom and other facilities in their lived gender identity
  • Able to take time off work for any medical treatments related to their transition, if needed.
  • The plan should also address:
  • When and how any related employment records, documents and databases will be updated to reflect the person’s new name and gender (e.g. human resources and administrative records, email and phone directories, business cards, etc.)
  • If, when and how other employees and clients will be informed of the person’s new name and gender identity
  • Anti-harassment planning – a simplified process to deal quickly and effectively with any harassment the transitioning employee may experience
  • When and how training for other employees, clients or managers will be provided to help them understand the transition process, if appropriate
  • How management and the union will show support for the transitioning employee.

[184] See ACT Law Reform Advisory Council, Beyond the Binary: legal recognition of sex and gender diversity in the ACT, Report 2 (2012) online: ACT Law Reform Advisory Council, at 48.  See also Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace, 2nd ed.(2008), online: Human Rights Campaign Foundation

[185] Human Rights Campaign Foundation, ibid. For more detailed information on data collection methods that are inclusive and respectful of diverse gender identities, see also Rainbow Health Ontario, RHO Fact Sheet: Designing Surveys and Questionnaires, online: Rainbow Health Ontario

[186] For more information on best practices for employers see Canadian Labour Congress, Workers in Transition: A Practical Guide About Gender Transition for Union Representatives, online: Canadian Labour Congress; Canadian Autoworkers Union, Workers in Transition: A Practical Guide for Union Representatives online: Canadian Autoworkers Union See also the international sources: Human Rights Campaign Foundation, supra note 197; Government of New Zealand, Department of Labour, Transgender People at Work, online: Human Rights Commission


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