Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual

Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual
Policy Number:
HR – 3.05
Policy Group:
Harassment, Violence and
Policy Name:
Trans*1 Inclusion
Date Issued:
Date Revised:
May 14, 2013
May 27, 2014
Executive Director or designate
Locations (#)
Policy History:
Applies To:
 All Employees, board members, volunteers, students, service users
In the spirit of the vision and anti-oppression mandate of the agency, this policy strives to
include trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit people within that framework. The aims are:
 To ensure the rights of trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit people at the centre
 To create a safe space and positive environment for trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit
 To actively unlearn trans*phobic attitudes and behaviours
 To actively dismantle the common barriers to service experienced by trans*,
genderqueer and two-spirit people
 To contribute to a culture of inclusivity for all service users.
The consequence of not following this policy can be harmful to the agency, its staff, service
users and volunteers in the following ways:
 Putting service users, board members, staff, volunteers or students in unsafe positions
 Being in violation of the agency’s contract with funders (e.g., City of Toronto)
 Being in violation of human rights legislation
 Being in violation of regulations regarding professional practice (i.e, College of Social
Trans* is an umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender identity
spectrum. Trans (without the asterisk) is best applied to trans men and trans women, while the
asterisk makes an effort to include all non-cisgender gender identities, including transgender,
transsexual, transvestite, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderless, third gender, twospirit, bigender, and trans man and trans woman. - See more at:
Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual
PCHC operates within an anti-racist, anti-oppression framework and we believe that all
people have the right to access services, regardless of their gender identity. The
organization strives to remove barriers that keep trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit people
from actively participating in programs and works to create an inclusive environment. The
agency strives to ensure that all trans*, genderqueer, and two-spirit people’s rights are
respected and protected and that they are treated with dignity.
PCHC encourages trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit individuals to participate fully and
have complete access to its services, employment, governance structures and volunteer
opportunities. We will make every effort to see that our structure, policies and systems
reflect all aspects of the community and promote equal access for all. This policy is
intended to act as a positive force for equity and the elimination of transphobic oppression.
Board members and staff members will use sound professional judgement when
interpreting this policy.
Access and Intake:
At intake PCHC will allow individuals to self-identify and will not make assumptions based
on appearances, a voice over the phone, or a person’s legal name. Trans*, genderqueer
and two-spirit people who meet the criteria for services will be provided with the same range
of services available to non-trans* people.
Trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit people will be referred to by the name they self-identify,
regardless of what name appears on their legal identification.
Trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit people will be referred to by the pronoun they prefer (he,
she, zie, we, they, etc.). If staff members are unsure what pronoun to use, they should avoid
pronouns until they have had the opportunity to respectfully ask that person how they would
prefer to be addressed.
Staff may not ask for medical specifics of a trans* person’s physical body beyond what is
asked of all service users and only if/when it is directly related to the service they are
Intake forms will reflect the complexity of gender identities and offer more than just two
options of male and female. Service users will be empowered to choose the option(s) they
believe best apply to their self-identification.
All staff, particularly front desk/reception staff, will make every effort to avoid referring to
people as “sir, ma’am, or miss” on the phone and in person.
Each person’s privacy and right to confidentiality will be respected. The trans* status or
identity of service-users, staff, board members, students or volunteers will not be recorded
nor disclosed without the express permission of the individual. Revealing a trans*,
Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual
genderqueer or two-spirit person’s trans* or surgical status is considered a breach of the
person’s privacy.
Access to files which contain this kind of personal information will be limited, and only those
in a “need to know” basis will have access.
Human Resources:
Candidates for staff, board, volunteer or student positions will not be discriminated against
on the basis of their trans*, genderqueer or two-spirit identities and will be given the same
consideration as all other candidates.
The agency does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity in providing compensation
and benefits, including medical leaves, drug plans, family leaves, parental leaves and other
such benefits.
If a staff member identifies that they will be undergoing a transition process, their personnel
records including all internal and external directories, email addresses and business cards,
will be changed according to the wishes of the individual.
Trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit employees may dress in accordance with their selfidentified gender.
The Human Resources department or appropriate manager will write a statement of
employment verification for a trans* staff member in their chosen name if it is required by a
Gender Identity Clinic as part of the “Real Life Experience”.
When checking references for potential employees, the HR department will protect the
dignity and privacy of trans* job applicants by using whatever name and pronoun they are
given. They will recognize that they might be given two names, the name in which they
applied for the position, and the name to use to check references. This information will be
kept confidential.
Harassment and Discrimination:
Consistently using the wrong name or pronouns for a trans*, genderqueer or two-spirit
person may be considered a form of harassment.
Refusal to work with a service-user, co-worker, board member, volunteer or student
because they are trans*, genderqueer or two-spirit is not allowed and may result in
disciplinary action.
Participants in programs, staff, board members, volunteers or students who harass, abuse,
assault or discriminate against trans*, genderqueer and two-spirit people within the agency
will be dealt with in the manner appropriate for their role (e.g. discipline, refusal of service,
Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual
Unless the question is directly tied to the care they receive within the agency, asking
personal questions about a trans*, genderqueer or two-spirit person’s surgical status or
genitals may be considered harassment or sexual harassment.
Facilities Management
The agency will make appropriate washrooms and changing areas available to trans*,
genderqueer and two-spirit people. All shared washrooms will be equipped with latching
doors, curtains, or other reasonable accommodations to provide privacy in a shared setting.
Trans*, genderqueer or two-spirit people will be encouraged to use the facilities in which
they feel most comfortable or most safe. The centre will not tolerate the policing of gender
identities in bathrooms, change-rooms, and related facilities.
When future renovations to washrooms are taking place, they should include options for
single-occupancy washrooms and change rooms that are accessible to people of all
Training and Education
All staff and board members are required to receive education and training on this policy
during their orientation to the agency. When appropriate, staff will also provide education on
this policy for program participants.
Complaints and Incidents:
Complaints and incidents will be managed according to the process outlined in the Access
and Equity Policy.
Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual
Appendix A
Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and
gender expression: Best practices checklist
Approved by the Ontario Human Rights Commission: January 31, 2014
Official release date: April 14, 2014
- See more at:
Privacy and confidentiality
Maximize privacy and confidentiality of any information related to a trans person’s
gender identity, or to the extent the trans persons wishes. This includes information
that directly or indirectly identifies that a person’s sex is different from their gender
Keep a person’s transgender history and medical information private and confidential,
and limited to only relevant information and people directly involved in helping to meet
the person’s needs.
All information should remain exclusively with designated personnel (such as the human
resources person) in a secure filing system to protect the person’s confidentiality.
Identification documentation and records
Recognize a trans person’s preferred name and gender in all administrative systems and
documents (including hard copies and electronic).
Show how any requirement for a person’s ”legal” name and gender is legitimate
(reasonable and bona fide) in the circumstances.
Undertake system reviews to identify how electronic databases, IT systems and other
relevant information processes can be modified to recognize a person’s chosen name
and gender when it does not match legal documents.
Collecting data on sex and gender
Consider whether there is a legitimate need to ask for and collect information about
sex/gender. If yes, provide options beyond the binary of male/female or
To the greatest extent possible, allow people to self-identify their sex or gender
identity.[185] The option of a blank box, for example, is the most inclusive.
Protect any information indicating transgender status as confidential.
Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual
Dress code policy
Do not base it on gender stereotypes, and apply it consistently to all people, regardless
of their gender identity or expression.
Make it inclusive of trans people, and identify that everyone may dress in accordance
with their lived gender identity or gender expression.
Washrooms and change facilities policy
Recognize the right of trans people to access facilities based on their lived gender
Communicate that a trans person will not be required to use a separate facility because
of the preferences or negative attitudes of others.
Make clear that accommodation options will be provided on an individualized basis, if a
trans person requests.
Provide privacy options that anyone in a change room may choose to use.
Provide information on where people can find accessible, all-gender washrooms.
Organization gender transition guideline[186]
Guidelines should be in place before a transitioning employee comes forward. They
provide clear direction for managers on how to generally help transitioning employees,
while still recognizing the obligation to take the individual’s needs into account. This
sends a signal to everyone that transitioning employees will be supported.
Guidelines should address:
 A lead contact person to assist the transitioning employee
 What a transitioning employee can expect from management
 Expectations of management and other staff, transitioning employees in
facilitating a successful workplace transition
 Related policies and practices for assisting with the transition process, such as:
washroom policies, dress code policies, confidentiality and privacy, recognizing
the person’s new name in documentation and records, anti-harassment policies,
dealing with any individual accommodation needs as well as training for
management, staff and clients.
Individualized gender transition accommodation plan
Working together, the employee, employer and union representatives (where the
employee has asked for their involvement) may wish to create a transition plan to
address what, if any, accommodations may be needed in the workplace related to the
steps the employee is taking in the transition process.
Each trans person’s situation will vary, and an individualized transition plan will make
clear what steps will be taken given the needs of the particular employee.
It can be useful to discuss timelines and dates when the employee would like to:
Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual
Be addressed by their new name and new pronoun
Begin expressing their gender identity through clothing, in keeping with the
workplace dress code
Use washroom and other facilities in their lived gender identity
Able to take time off work for any medical treatments related to their transition,
if needed.
The plan should also address:
 When and how any related employment records, documents and databases will
be updated to reflect the person’s new name and gender (e.g. human resources
and administrative records, email and phone directories, business cards, etc.)
 If, when and how other employees and clients will be informed of the person’s
new name and gender identity
 Anti-harassment planning – a simplified process to deal quickly and effectively
with any harassment the transitioning employee may experience
 When and how training for other employees, clients or managers will be
provided to help them understand the transition process, if appropriate
 How management and the union will show support for the transitioning
[184] See ACT Law Reform Advisory Council, Beyond the Binary: legal recognition of sex and
gender diversity in the ACT, Report 2 (2012) online: ACT Law Reform Advisory Council, at 48. See also
Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace, 2nd ed.(2008),
online: Human Rights Campaign Foundation
[185] Human Rights Campaign Foundation, ibid. For more detailed information on data
collection methods that are inclusive and respectful of diverse gender identities, see also
Rainbow Health Ontario, RHO Fact Sheet: Designing Surveys and Questionnaires, online:
Rainbow Health Ontario
[186] For more information on best practices for employers see Canadian Labour
Congress, Workers in Transition: A Practical Guide About Gender Transition for Union
Representatives, online: Canadian Labour Congress; Canadian
Autoworkers Union, Workers in Transition: A Practical Guide for Union Representatives online:
Canadian Autoworkers Union See also the international
sources: Human Rights Campaign Foundation, supra note 197; Government of New Zealand,
Department of Labour, Transgender People at Work, online: Human Rights
Parkdale Community Health Centre: Policy Manual