A new law proposes to end discrimination against transgender students at schools in California. The bill, which awaits the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown, would allow transgender students to use facilities such as locker rooms and participate in activities such as sports based on the gender with which they identify. Some groups have remarked that existing California anti-discrimination laws already protect the rights of transgender students to equal access based on their gender identity, but the new law would remove any element of doubt and help ensure that schools follow the law properly.
Protections against suffering transgender discrimination
California law further protects transgender individuals against suffering discrimination in a number of settings. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is unlawful for an employer or the owner of housing accommodation to discriminate against a person because of their gender, gender identity or gender expression. In an employment context, such discrimination can manifest itself in a number of ways. Common examples include:
Refusal to hire
Termination of employment
Offering inferior pay or benefits
Refusal to offer a place on a training program leading to employment
Dress codes and discrimination
Although FEHA prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, an employer is permitted to set rules regarding grooming, workplace appearance and dress standards. However, such rules may not be used to force a person to dress according to their birth gender, and a transgender employee must be permitted to dress in accordance with their gender identity or gender expression.