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Compliance Guidelines to Prohibit Gender Identity Discrimination

Compliance Rules and Regulations Regarding Gender Identity Discrimination
San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 12A, 12B, 12C
San Francisco Police Code Article 33

City and County of San Francisco
Human Rights Commission
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94102-6033

December 10, 2003

Introduction and History of Gender Identity Protection in San Francisco

In 1995 San Francisco included "gender identity" as a protected class to its nondiscrimination ordinances in response to a 1994 public hearing held by the Human Rights Commission. At that hearing, Supervisors and other City officials learned that there are transgender people in every race, class and culture, and of every age, ability, gender, and sexual orientation. The Supervisors and other City officials also learned that transgender people are subjected to severe discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations and that no local, state or federal law provided protection and no recourse existed when discriminatory actions occurred.

Therefore, the San Francisco Administrative Codes and Police Codes were amended to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. Since the law was changed, the Human Rights Commission has continued to receive complaints from people who are not hired, not promoted, are fired, denied housing, denied services, and denied access to facilities, and are discriminated against because of their gender identity. These guidelines are intended to assist City Departments, agencies, businesses, and organizations in complying with the law.

In this introduction, we would like to emphasize that a person’s gender identity is that person’s sense of self regarding characteristics labeled as masculine, feminine, both or neither. An individual determines their own gender identity and the sole proof of a person’s gender identity is that person’s statement or expression of their self identification.

While any given individual’s gender identity or expression may make other people uncomfortable, refusing to treat transgender or gender-variant people in the same manner as other people is a violation of San Francisco laws. The Human Rights Commission is charged with investigating complaints of discrimination based on gender identity. It has been the experience of the Human Rights Commission that most situations in which people experience discomfort or have a fear of confrontation can be addressed so that all individuals are treated with dignity and the law is not violated.

In addition to these Regulations, the staff of the Human Rights Commission is available to provide training and education, and to help create flexible implementation plans for agencies, business establishments and organizations seeking to comply with the law. For more information, visit the Human Rights Commission website at www.sfgov.org or call (415)252–2500.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1. Purpose

2. Definition of Gender Identity

3. Regulations

4. Examples of Unlawful Gender Identity Discrimination

5. Guidelines

6. Appendices

1.    PURPOSE:

It is the law and policy of the City and County of San Francisco to eliminate discrimination based on gender identity in San Francisco and in City & County of San Francisco contracting. These guidelines supercede prior gender identity guidelines approved December 10, 1998 and are effective as of December 10, 2003.

The Human Rights Commission developed these guidelines for several purposes:

  • To implement the provisions of San Francisco Administrative Code Chapters 12A, 12B, 12C and San Francisco Police Code Article 33 regarding discrimination based on gender identity;
  • To provide guidance to employers, businesses, organizations, City departments, and entities contracting with the City and County of San Francisco seeking to comply with the law.
  • To educate the public about gender identity law and policy so as to prevent and address discrimination.

2.    DEFINITION OF GENDER IDENTITY
Chapters 12A, 12B, and 12C of the San Francisco Administrative Code and Article 33 of the San Francisco Police Code define "Gender Identity" as "a person’s various individual attributes as they are understood to be masculine and/or feminine." * Gender Identity therefore includes discrimination based upon an individual’s self-asserted gender identity and/or gender expression whether or not different from that traditionally associated with the person’s actual or perceived sex as assigned at birth.
[*12A.3(a); 12B.1(c); 12C.2; 33]

 

3.    REGULATIONS
It is unlawful to discriminate against a person in employment, housing, or public accommodations, on the basis of that person’s actual or perceived gender identity, or to discriminate against a person who associates with persons in this protected category, or to retaliate against any person objecting to, or supporting enforcement of legal protections against gender identity discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations

4.    EXAMPLES OF UNLAWFUL GENDER IDENTITY DISCRIMINATION

A.  EMPLOYMENT: Includes but is not limited to failure to hire, failure to promote, disparate treatment, unlawful termination, verbal and/or physical harassment, deliberate misuse of appropriate forms of address and pronouns, failure to make a reasonable accommodation when requested by the employee, and/or denial of access to bathroom that is appropriate to the employee’s gender identity.

 

B.  HOUSING: Includes but is not limited refusal to show, rent, or sell real property that is available for lease or sale, addition of different or additional terms or conditions in a lease, and refusal to provide services or make repairs or improvements for any tenant or lessee, deliberate misuse of appropriate forms of address and pronouns by the landlord or property manager, tolerating harassment by co-tenants, landlords, or property managers.

 

C.  PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS: Includes but is not limited to refusal to provide goods or services, disparate treatment, verbal and/or physical harassment, intentional and deliberate misuse of appropriate forms of address and/or pronouns, and/or denial of access to bathroom/restroom that is consistent with and appropriate to the customer’s or client’s gender identity.

5.    GUIDELINES

A.  BATHROOMS/RESTROOMS: Individuals have the right to use the bathroom/restroom that is consistent with and appropriate to their gender identity. The Commission wants to ensure that people of all genders have safe bathroom access. Therefore, the Commission strongly urges that all single-use bathrooms be designated gender neutral (unisex) and that all places of public accommodation and employment provide a gender neutral bathroom option.

B.  VERIFICATION OF GENDER: Requiring proof of an individual’s gender is prohibited, except in situations where all persons are asked to verify their gender.

C.  EMPLOYMENT: When requested by the employee, an employer must make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s health care needs, including but not limited to health care provider or counseling appointments, time off to recover from surgery or from a transition-related complication.

 

D.  DRESS CODES: Employees have the right to comply with the gender-specific dress code that is appropriate to their gender identity when employers implement employee dress codes that are gender-specific.

 

E.  ONGOING TRAINING AND POLICY COMMUNICATION: To ensure that employers understand their obligations to maintain a discrimination-free workplace, the Commission recommends that employers require all management, employees, and volunteers to receive training regarding gender identity issues. All agencies, businesses, organizations, City contractors, and City departments are required to clearly and explicitly communicate San Francisco’s laws regarding gender identity and other protected categories to all management, employees, and volunteers. In addition, all businesses within the City and County of San Francisco are required to conspicuously post the San Francisco Human Rights Commission employment non-discrimination poster in a place accessible to all employees.

F.  SEX-SPECIFIC FACILTIES WITH UNAVOIDABLE NUDITY:

  1. All people have an equal and binding right to the access and safe use of those facilities that are segregated by sex. In sex-specific facilities, where nudity in the presence of other people is unavoidable, agencies, businesses, organizations, City contractors, and City departments shall make reasonable accommodations to allow an individual access and use of the facility that is consistent with that individual’s gender identity which is publicly and exclusively asserted.
  2. Access and use of a sex-specific facility may not be denied to any individual with an identification that designates the gender they are asserting. If an individual does not voluntarily show identification designating their gender identity, reasonable accommodations shall be made to integrate the individual into the facility that corresponds with the gender identity that the individual publicly and exclusively asserts or intends to assert over a period of time.
  3. The Human Rights Commission recommends that alternative forms of gender identification be accepted, such as a letter from a City department, community-based organization, healthcare provider, or counselor.

APPENDICIES
 

 

SCOPE OF EXPLICITLY TRANSGENDER-INCLUSIVE ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS

 

Jurisdiction

Year

Category

(in which protections are found)

Public Accomm-odations

Housing

Employ-ment

Edu-cation

Right of Private Action

Arizona

             

Tucson

1999

Gender identity

?

?

?

?

 

California

             

CALIFORNIA*

2003

Sex

 

?

?

 

?

Los Angeles

1979

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

?

?

San Francisco

1994

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

Santa Cruz County

1998

Gender

?

?

?

?

?

Santa Cruz

1992

Gender

?

?

?

?

?

San Diego

2003

Gender identity

?

?

?

?

?

West Hollywood

1998

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

 

Colorado

             

Boulder

2000

Gender variance

?

?

?

   

Denver

2001

Gender variance

?

?

?

?

?

Florida

             

Key West

2003

Gender identity or expression

 

?

?

 

?

Monroe County

2003

Gender identity or expression

?

?

?

 

?

Georgia

             

Atlanta

2000

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

Iowa

             

Iowa City

1996

Gender identity

?

?

?

?

?

Illinois

             

Champaign

1977

Sex

?

?

?

   

Cook County

2002

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

Chicago

2002

Gender identity

?

?

?

   

Decatur

2002

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

   

DeKalb

2000

Gender

?

?

?

   

Evanston

1997

Sexual orientation

 

?

?

 

?

Peoria

2003

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

   

Springfield

2003

Sexual orientation

   

?

   

Urbana

1979

Sex

?

?

?

 

 

Kentucky

             

Covington

2003

Gender identity

?

?

?

   

Jefferson County

1999

Gender identity

?

?

?

   

Lexington-Fayette Urban County

1999

Gender identity

 

?

?

   

Louisville

1999

Gender identity

?

?

?

   

Louisiana

             

New Orleans

1998

Gender identification

?

?

?

 

?**

Maryland

             

Baltimore

2002

Gender identity or expression

?

?

?

?

?

Massachusetts

             

Boston

2002

Gender identity or expression

?

 

?

?

 

Cambridge

1997

Gender

?

?

?

?

 

Michigan

             

Ann Arbor

1999

Gender identity

?

?

?

?

?

East Lansing

2002

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

?

 

Grand Rapids

1994

Gender orientation

?

?

?

?

 

Huntington Woods

2001

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

?

 

Ypsilanti

1997

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

?

?

Minnesota

             

MINNESOTA

1993

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

?

?

Minneapolis

1975

Affectional preference

?

?

?

?

?

St. Paul

1990

Sexual or affectional orientation

?

?

?

?

?

New Mexico

             

NEW MEXICO

2003

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

New York

             

Buffalo

2002

Gender identity and expression

?

?

?

   

Ithaca

2003

Gender

?

?

?

?

?

New York City

2002

Gender

?

?

?

?

?

Rochester

2001

Gender

?

?

?

 

?

Suffolk County

2001

Gender

?

?

?

   

Ohio

             

Toledo

1998

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

?***

 

Oregon

             

Benton County

1998

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

Lake Oswego

2003

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

 

Multnomah County

2001

Gender identity

   

?

   

Portland

2000

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

Salem

2002

Gender identity

?

?

?

   

Pennsylvania

             

Allentown

2002

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

Erie County

2002

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

Harrisburg

1983

Sex

?

?

?

?

?

New Hope

2002

Gender identity

?

?

?

 

?

Philadelphia

2002

Gender identity

?

?

?

?

 

Pittsburgh

1997

Sex

?

?

?

 

?

York

1998

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

   

Rhode Island

             

RHODE ISLAND

2001

Gender identity or expression

?

?

?

 

?

Texas

             

Dallas

2002

Sexual orientation

?

?

?

   

El Paso

2003

Gender identity

?

       

Washington

             

Olympia

1997

Gender identity

 

?

     

Seattle

1986

Gender identity

?

?

?

?

?

Tacoma

2002

Gender identity

?

?

?

?

?**

Wisconsin

             

Madison

2001

Gender identity

?

?

?

   

TOTALS

   

58

61

63

25

34

 

 

 

 

CITIES:

52

* California’s law goes into effect on January 1, 2004.

** Indicates that the Private Right of Action is for housing discrimination only.

*** Indicates that only educational institutions that receive city funds are covered.

Employment includes both public and private employment.
Private Right of Action means individuals can file a lawsuit.

COUNTIES:

9

STATES:

4

TOTAL

65

   

 

 

 


Jurisdictions prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in public employment

Bellingham, Washington

 

Dane County, Wisconsin

Applies also to county contractors

Decatur, Georgia

 

Houston, Texas

 

State of Kentucky, by executive order

 

Largo, Florida

 

State of Pennsylvania, by executive order

 

Pine Lake, Georgia

 

San Jose, California

Applies also to city contractors

Wilton Manors, Florida

Applies also to city contractors

 

Last updated November 2003. For the most recent version, go to www.transgenderlaw.org or www.ngltf.org.
 

 


TRANSGENDER LAW & POLICY INSTITUTE
www.transgenderlaw.org
Paisley Currah, Director • pcurrah@transgenderlaw.org
• 917-686-7663

 

 

 

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