LGBTQ+ and Employers Responsibilities
The goal of every workplace should be to be inclusive, welcoming and safe for all. You could have employees, customers, or clients who may believe or identify differently than you. What are the laws surrounding this topic?
As an employer, you want to focus on diversity, inclusion, and policies that avoid any type of discrimination. Here is a link to Oregon.gov website which breaks down terms and provides law information for employees and employers. https://www.oregon.gov/boli/civil-rights/Pages/gender-identity-at-work.aspx
Here are some things you can do in your workplace: 1. Keep information private Allow individuals to identify themselves and communicate their preferences on their own. Not everyone is comfortable sharing this type of information with everyone, even if it is shared with HR or Admin.
2. Provide trainings Educate your team on appropriate terminology, language, bias, and how to report harassment or bullying. As you provide education for your employees, it reduces the risk of a potential harassment or bullying situation in your workplace. Providing training also allows you to show your employees that your culture is welcoming, accepting and safe.
3. Update policies
Update all policies to be inclusive and non-biased. An example that may need to be updated is dress code to be gender neutral. Ex: "Women's skirts need to go past the knee" can be changed to "No clothing should be worn in the workplace that goes above the knee". This change allows for freedom in expression for individuals to dress in whatever attire they feel most comfortable in.
4. Workplace Culture
Updating policies, providing trainings, and any other steps taken are important, but no change can be made unless the behavior is modeled. Maintain a culture and workplace where all employees are treated fairly, where differences are celebrated, and where harassment of any kind is not tolerated.
If you need any assistance navigating this as an employee or an employer, as always, The Team at B.Stephens, HR Consulting is here to help.