A transgender man named Decker Moss recently transitioned while at work, and the Columbus, Ohio-based marketing company he works for, Resource, not only gave him their full support from the top down—they rewrote employee policies to be inclusive of all transgender employees' needs.
Resource's HR director Jamie Barcelona spent nine months working with Kate Marvel of the HRC to address common workplace issues for transgender employees such as the need for gender-neutral restrooms, inclusive language in employee policies, and health-care coverage. Though there are many obstacles to accessing trans-related health-care, Barcelona and Resource staff have been negotiating with their current health provider and are considering possibilities such as obtaining a second provider to ensure complete, trans-inclusive coverage.
In addition to policy revision, Resource has demonstrated a commitment to equal treatment for Moss and all other transgender employees. Resource CEO Nancy Kramer issued an email clarifying Moss' story to the entire company, while President John Kadlic personally contacted each one of Moss’ clients to ensure that Moss would be treated with the same dignity and respect as before he came out. Says Nancy Kramer regarding respect: "If [the clients had an issue], then I didn't think they should be our clients...this has always been my compass, what I believe in, and I try to translate it into the business."
Stories like that of Decker Moss are rare at a time when transgender people experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population, with trans people of color facing up to four times the rate. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 90% of respondents reported experiencing harassment, discrimination, or mistreatment on the job. GLAAD urges the media to highlight stories of transgender employees, and note the concerning lack of official policies to protect them from discrimination.