Friday, September 22, 2023

WIRTW #688: the “(not) Progressives” edition

Misgendering a transgender employee + forcing him to out himself to his coworkers + passing him over for a promotion + subjecting him to an unwanted office transfer + scrutinizing his medical appointments and other time off + ignoring his three HR complaints = a jury trial for Progressive Insurance on claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

According to the plaintiff, the first four years of his employment at Progressive were without incident, until he informed his supervisor of his intent to transition from female to male. That's when he alleges the mistreatment began, and continued for the final four years of his employment until he quit.

Transgender people are under attack. This lawsuit is a symptom of a much larger problem in workplaces across our country. Trans employees often experience discrimination, harassment, and a lack of understanding, including from their work colleagues and bosses. As an employer, it is important to create a safe and inclusive environment for all employees, including those who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming. Otherwise, you just might find yourself at a receiving end of a well-deserved and difficult-to-defend lawsuit. Just ask Progressive Insurance.

The case is John Doe v. Progressive Ins., and you can find the court's summary judgment opinion here.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Unions ask federal regulators to protect worker mental health, auto manufacturers lay off employees amid strike — via Ragan

Noncompetes, the sky is not falling — via Fair Competition Law

How Companies Can Recommit to Their DEI Goals — via Harvard Business Review

What Employers Should Do When Employees Fail to Report Time — via Dan Schwartz's Connecticut Employment Law Blog