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Gender Identification Begs New Questions for Employers

Gender Identification Begs New Questions for Employers
Posted on Friday, October 5, 2018 by Bruce Gillis
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Last month, a U.S. District Court ruled that the State Department cannot deny a citizen a passport based on their refusal to designate a male or female gender option.  

nonbinary-passportThat’s an important legal decision, and one that employers need to consider. Other recent developments on this topic include:  

  • The New York City Council has approved a measure allowing birth certificates to be issued with a non-binary gender option. 
  • Minnesota has started issuing driver’s licenses with male, female and non-binary options. 
  • The Washington DC city council has approved a bill allowing residents to obtain driver’s licenses indicating a gender of “X.” 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… Businessolver recently polled our clients regarding their plans to add gender options beyond male and female. Most indicated they had not decided on their long-term approach, with multiple employers referencing a lack of employees in the impacted jurisdictions.  

Regardless, the recent increase in regulatory and judicial activity on this topic means employers will likely encounter situations where potential hires or current employees seek to designate their gender as non-binary. And trying to support their request using government-issued IDs makes the matter even more complex.  

In my interactions with clients, I know many are struggling with this topic; government reporting requirements, employee engagement considerations, benefits communications, and vendor capabilities are all top of mind.   

While the Benefitsolver platform can support the addition of a non-binary, undeclared, or other gender designations, each employer must decide for themselves how these recent developments impact their processes and policies. At the very least, employers must define their approach to gender and ensure their communication strategy supports intelligent and, more importantly, empathetic responses to inquiries on this topic from their employees. 

This is a complicated topic. If you have more questions than answers, don’t hesitate to contact us, we can help. 

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Bruce Gillis Head of Compliance Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. View All Posts