By SHERRY JACOBSON
22 January 2013
Parkland Memorial Hospital joined other public employers Tuesday in expanding equal employment opportunities to transgender employees or job applicants.
The hospital’s board of managers also approved a policy that prohibited harassment or retaliation against workers who may be affected by “gender identity” and “gender expression.”
Other governmental entities offering the same employee protections include the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Dallas County, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the North Texas Tollway Authority.
According to the American Psychological Association, “transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to what typically is associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.”
Gender identity refers to a person’s “internal sense of being male, female or something else,” the psychologist group said, “while gender expression refers to the way a person communicates gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice or body characteristics.”
Rafael McDonnell, advocacy manager for Resource Center Dallas, praised the Parkland board for extending job protections to these workers. His group has lobbied local governmental agencies to protect such employees, since there are no statewide laws to protect them.
“If you work for a smaller business in this state, you can still be fired for being gay,” he said. “It’s perfectly legal.”
See also: Dallas Voice: Parkland adds trans protections