The seminar should emphasize that this is an ordinary process that people all over the world go through. It can also be an opportunity to re-iterate the company’s bullying and harassment policies. It is important to take action against any employees that demonstrate harassing behaviour. Beyond showing support for your transgender employee, this type of incident can also result in the company being found liable for failing to protect its employees.
“Next, clarify issues that would cause the most anxiety such as using the right pronouns,” says Anand, who is currently the National Practice Chair of Miller Thomson’s Labour and Employment Specialty Group, and the Chair of the National Diversity Committee. . “It can take a while for people to start adopting the language.”
Finally, understand what your benefit programs cover and don’t cover so you can help your employee navigate their options.
“Some transgender medical needs are not covered by [provincial health insurance], and what you want to do, legal issues aside, is treat transgender people with dignity and fairness,” Anand says.
For a glossary of common terms when discussing transgender issues, visit The National Center for Transgender Equality