Post submitted by Madeleine Roberts, HRC Communications Assistant

HRC Foundation released a groundbreaking report underscoring the urgent need for inclusive employer-paid family and medical leave for transgender and non-binary workers. The report, which reveals the unique barriers faced by these workers, draws on responses to the HRC’s 2018 U.S. LGBTQ Paid Leave Survey -- the largest and most comprehensive survey ever of its kind.

The report comes in advance of Saturday’s International Transgender Day of Visibility. It also comes at a time when the Trump-Pence Administration is doubling down on its attacks on transgender people -- from attempts to ban qualified transgender Americans from serving in the military to failing to protect transgender students facing discrimination.

“These survey results underscore the urgent need to continue the fight for inclusive policies and benefits for transgender and non-binary people, including in the workplace,” said Ashland Johnson, HRC Director of Public Education and Research. “While our workplaces have made historic advancements over the last few years on inclusion of LGBTQ workers, far too many transgender and non-binary workers are denied access to critical leave policies, paid or unpaid. As the Trump-Pence Administration doubles down on its discriminatory and despicable attacks on equality, transgender people need their employers to step up to ensure that workers of all gender identities are provided the policies, protections and benefits they need to thrive."

The new HRC Foundation report reflects responses from 1,121 transgender and non-binary respondents from across the nation detailing their ability to access family and medical leave, experiences in the workplace and concerns about managing both their jobs and their wellbeing. It found that transgender and non-binary Americans can face unique and magnified barriers that make access to leave even more challenging. Key findings include:

  • Only 36 percent of transgender and non-binary respondents report that their employers have LGBTQ-inclusive leave policies;
  • Only 39 percent say that their employer’s policies cover new parents of all genders equally;
  • Just 38 percent of respondents report that their employers’ policies are equally inclusive of the many ways families can welcome a child -- including childbirth, adoption or foster care;
  • Only 15 percent of transgender and non-binary respondents have access to paid leave to care for a loved one;
  • And significant barriers continue to exist for transgender and non-binary workers who need to access medically necessary transgender-specific health care.

“The challenges faced by workers who request time off from work for medically necessary transition-related health care are significant and painful, ranging from health insurance plans that don’t cover comprehensive trans health care and worries about being outed in the workplace, to flat out harassment,” said Liam Miranda, HRC Senior Research Manager. “These survey results demonstrate not only the need for paid and inclusive leave policies, but also the pressing need for more employers to embrace trans-inclusive health care coverage and build more supportive workplace environments for LGBTQ people.”

Read the full report here, and check out HRC Foundation’s resources for transgender and non-binary people here.


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