Employers and employees in Washington D.C. are legally prohibited from referring to a transgender employee or coworker by the “wrong” pronouns or asking “personal questions” about their gender identity, according to the city’s Office of Human Rights (OHR).
OHR published a best practices guide for “valuing transgender applicants and employees” earlier this month with a list of “behaviors by supervisors or coworkers [that] may be considered unlawful harassment or a hostile work environment.”
One of the listed prohibited behaviors is: “Deliberately misusing a person’s preferred name or pronoun.”
“Asking personal questions about an individual’s body, gender identity or expression or transition” and “Posting offensive pictures or sending offensive communications” are also among the prohibited behaviors.
The guide states, “The District uses the probable cause standard in determining whether the above constitute harassment or a hostile work environment.”