No Easy Answers: The Transgender Employee, Part 2

In the second of this two-part series, we explore the potential ways in which state laws can affect transgender employees - and their employers.
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In Part 1 of this article, we covered some basic facts, research and vocabulary pertaining to the transgender individual, as a person and as an employee. We also examined some of the federal and state laws that a business owner or manager must understand in order to respond appropriately to issues that transgender employees may face in the workplace. We did this because we felt it important for readers to have a foundation of understanding and terminology (see “In Certain Terms” on page 78 for a quick review) concerning the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities before discussing the ways in which you can best respond if and when tricky situations arise.

To illustrate the types of situations that a spa owner may be called upon to resolve, we ended our previous column with a cliffhanger: the matter of one Delphina Prentice, a client whose only requirement for her massage was that it be performed by a female therapist. The spa booked Prentice with Claudia, an LMT who subsequently received rave reviews from the highly particular client. Prentice even went so far as to inform the spa owner that she’d never had a better massage.

Two weeks later, during her monthly pedicure, Prentice overheard a spa employee whisper to a colleague that Claudia was “really a man.” She promptly stormed into the spa owner’s office and threatened to sue.

Continue reading this story in our June digital edition!