The City of Providence today issued new Workplace Gender Transition Protocols today, a policy “to provide clear protocols for employees who express that they wish to transition from one gender to another in the workplace, for their immediate supervisors and colleagues, and for the City’s administrative support staff.”
The protocols are “based on a model policy developed by the City of Santa Rosa in conjunction with the Transgender Law Center and on a number of existing protocols and policies, including those adopted by major public sector employers.”
In a statement, Mayor Jorge Elorza’s communications director Emily Crowell said, “In affirmation of the City’s ongoing commitment to fostering an inclusive and productive workplace, these guidelines are designed both to signal our support of transgender employees and to ensure that clear policies and support systems exist for those who make the decision to be “out” at work.
“This process is carefully designed to meet the needs of the employee enacting the protocols while providing training and tools in order to promote a supportive work environment.”
Below is the two-page version of the new policy, see this link for the complete protocols.
WORKPLACE GENDER TRANSITION PROTOCOLS Applicability
This policy applies to all City of Providence employees.
The purpose of this policy is to provide clear protocols for employees who express that they wish to transition from one gender to another in the workplace, for their immediate supervisors and colleagues, and for the City’s administrative support staff. This process is carefully designed to be minimally disruptive to departmental operations, meet the needs of the employee enacting the protocols, and provide training and tools in order to promote a supportive work environment.
- The City of Providence is committed to providing a workplace free of discrimination, and ensuring employees work in a positive and civil environment. The City embraces workplace diversity as an organizational strength.
- Should they so choose, an employee of the City may request to make use of this policy, which sets clear guidelines and expectations for all parties in support of their decision to complete a gender transition within the workplace.
- Certain staff members – including the EEO Officer, LGBTQ Liaison, and Department Directors – shall familiarize themselves with the full Workplace Gender Transition Protocols policy and be prepared to act as a first point-of-contact.
- Information deemed to be need-to-know, including an employee’s gender identity, intent to transition, and medical information are to be kept strictly confidential. Under typical circumstances, some parties – including the First Point of Contact, the LGBTQ Liaison, certain Human Resources staff needed to complete name and documentation changes, the employee’s direct supervisor, and their direct colleagues – may need to be made aware to complete necessary administrative preparations and to complete required training.
From the date notification is made to the First Point of Contact, the protocols state the City will need at least 45 days to complete the necessary documentation changes and to provide training to the employee’s workgroup.
- Documentation changes include where applicable City identification cards, name tags, uniforms, email addresses, team rosters, phone directories, workstation nameplates, organization charts, publicly displayed photographs, City web pages, and software programs.
- Transgender and gender non-conforming employees have the right to be addressed by the name and pronoun of their choice.
- Transgender and gender non-conforming employees have the right to comply with dress codes and professional appearance standards in a manner consistent with their gender identity or expression.
- Transgender and gender non-conforming employees have the right to use the restroom or sex-segregated facility corresponding to their gender identity, per Rhode Island State Law and City policy. All-gender restrooms are available to those who choose to use them in all major City buildings.
- All City of Providence employee and retiree health plans provide transgender-inclusive coverage. Contact the Benefits Division of the Department of Human Resources for details.
All City of Providence employees have the right to perform their work duties free from discrimination or harassment based upon actual or perceived gender identity or expression. Instances of discrimination or harassment may include, but are not limited to:
- Disparate treatment of an employee as a result of the employee’s gender identity or expression; o Denying an employee access to facilities/restrooms/locker rooms which correspond to their gender identity;
- Prohibiting an employee from complying with the dress code which applies to their gender identity;
- Refusing to respect an employee’s gender identity by intentionally referring to an employee by a name or by pronouns that the employee no longer uses or does not correspond to their gender identity;
- Acts of retaliation against any employee or person because of gender identity or expression.
- Training materials will be provided to Department Directors and people managers following this policy’s rollout and to an employee’s individual workgroup on an as-needed basis. All Department Directors will be required to attend training on the Workplace Gender Transition Protocols, by a date to be determined.
- Training topics include a breakdown of the details of the Gender Transition Protocols, commonly used terms and their definitions, and Frequently Asked Questions that may come up within workgroups.
- Emphasis will be placed on resolving conflicts, dispelling negative stereotypes, and providing all parties with the knowledge required to fairly manage a workforce of diverse gender identities.