Worries over workplace protections came to the forefront of the second-annual LGBTQ Workplace Culture Summit Tuesday at Kirkwood Community College after reports over the weekend said the Trump administration plans to define gender as assigned at birth.
Iowa’s civil rights law grants the same protections to transgender residents as it would to other protected classes. One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said that, along with increasing efforts from large businesses to make their LGBTQ employees feel more welcome, puts the state in a relatively strong position of legal protection.
However, Hoffman-Zinnel pointed to a 2014 Human Right Campaign poll showing 53 percent of LGBTQ respondents don’t feel comfortable being fully out at work as an ongoing issue, particularly in smaller businesses.
That, combined with the possible federal policy, show there are still major cultural barriers to the LGBTQ community in the workplace, he said.
Hoffman-Zinnel said One Iowa would have to review any federal transgender policies to determine if it would pre-empt or interfere with state protections.
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