The city of Dallas is making strides towards inclusivity with a newly implemented policy that requires its employees to use preferred pronouns for their transgender colleagues. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, including termination, according to documents recently released.
— New York Post (@nypost) June 3, 2023
In “Workplace Gender Transition Protocols & FAQ,” the city’s workplace conduct documents outlining the approved conduct for interacting with transgender individuals, the city emphasizes that transitioning may involve various aspects such as “coming out” to family, friends, and coworkers, changing names and gender on legal documents, and subjecting to gender-affirming treatments and procedures.
Regardless of personal beliefs or acceptance, Dallas city employees are expected to respectfully use transitioning employees’ preferred names and pronouns. The documents explicitly state that intentionally misgendering an employee or using incorrect pronouns is considered a form of discrimination and harassment.
“An employee has the right to be addressed by the name and pronoun of their choice. Our addressing the employee by their chosen pronoun is a sign of respect for them as an individual,” the guidelines state.
To ensure the successful implementation of these guidelines, supervisors are encouraged to consult with transgender employees to determine appropriate responses and disciplinary actions for coworkers who fail to comply with the policy.
City leaders defended the guidelines in a statement to Fox News, affirming their commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all residents and employees.
“The City of Dallas is a safe and welcoming place for all residents and employees,” they stated, emphasizing that the city is against any form of discrimination based on gender identity and expression as well as race, color, religion, marital status, national origin and disability.
“Violations of these long-standing policies may result in disciplinary action,” the statement added.
According to the city leaders, the City’s Office of Equity and Inclusion developed the policies based on information gathered from the Human Resources department. To them, the policies serve as a means to “address the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming employees and provide guidance to supervisors and managers on how to protect the rights and safety of such employees.”
Dallas’ step regarding pronouns follows the introduction of what the Baltimore City Council calls anti-discrimination laws that prohibits the use of a transgender individual’s biological pronouns after being informed of the person’s preferred pronouns.