Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 23

"The best solution is to avoid very gender specific ployee consents to some sort of disclosure."
uniforms in general and to have options like pants
"The best advice I can give is to talk to the indiavailable for female employees," advises LeGault. vidual," says LeGault. "They are not all the same-
"In fact, demanding that female employees wear they are individual human beings-and each one
skirts and show their legs is open to challenge as will have different feelings and needs. Some will
sexism in any event, and many females prefer not to have strong support at work or outside of work,
wear skirts for personal reasons.
while others will be frightened and shy."
"A lot of this is about generally getting away from
out-dated gender-based stereotypes. The excuse busi- A welcoming workplace
ness owners will use is that having a trans employee
Discriminatory or harassing behaviour, whether
working with the public and wearing clothes that re- it comes from fellow employees or from customers,
flect their non-biological lived gender identity will be must not be tolerated in the workplace, according to
off-putting to customers, and sales may be lost.
the OHRC.
"These arguments never win at a legal hearing.
"Organizations are liable for any discrimination
They have been used in the past to avoid having and harassment that happens," it cautions. "They
gay store associates and avoid older female servers are also liable for not accommodating a trans perin restaurants without success."
son's needs unless it would cause undue hardship.
Bottom line? "The person should be allowed to con- They must deal with complaints, take steps to preform to the dress code that matches their gender iden- vent problems and provide a safe, welcoming entity, as opposed to their sex at birth," Wasser says.
vironment for trans people."
Mitchell shares that opinion.
"From a legal perspective," she says, "This is a group which often suffers a great deal of harass"we encourage all employers, to the ment, bullying and name-calling. Accordingly, proactive
extent possible, have gender-neutral steps can help to make employees aware of how hurtful
dress requirements-if you're going to
have any sort of requirements at all. this type of behaviour is, and can help them understand
Or you have to be willing to allow the that the gender identity feelings of transgendered and
individual to wear whichever uniform other individuals are sincerely held beliefs."
choice they associate with.
- LYNDSAY WASSER, McMillan
"That's an accommodation that the
courts have recognized isn't too high a threshold for
To which LeGault would add: "The Supreme Court
employers to meet."
of Canada has said (in a sexual harassment case)
that the employer has two responsibilities-try to
Personal data & privacy
prevent and effectively stop. These are obligations
"An employee who is in the process of transitioning to try to prevent the harassment and then, if it ocfrom one sex to another is a sensitive and private curs, to address it promptly and effectively.
matter and must be treated as such," Mitchell says.
"I think this applies equally to the trans situation.
"Obviously if someone is going through a name
"The prevention takes the form of staff awareness
change, this is information that would have to be training and having a publicized policy in place. The
updated by the employer and kept in records.
reactive part of the obligation requires an employer
"But there is a corresponding privacy issue that to investigate a workplace situation and, if harassemployers also have to be aware of. They have to be ment or discrimination occurred, to take steps to
very careful not to 'out' any employees who may or make sure it won't reoccur."
may not wish to disclose that they are transitioning,
or that they're transgendered, to other employees or Anneli LeGault, partner with Dentons Canada LLP, will
to even other management."
be speaking at RCC's Human Resources Conference
She adds: "Employers need to have pretty import- 2016 about ways to support transgender employees. For
ant protocols in place to make sure this information more information concerning conference registration,
is a) kept up to date, and b) private, unless the em- visit www.rcchrconference.ca/content/register.

www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer

WINTER 2016 | CANADIAN RETAILER

| 23


http://www.rcchrconference.ca/content/register http://www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016

PUBLISHER'S DESK
RETAIL CURRENTS
UNDER THE BANNER
EXPANDED OFFERING
RCC APPOINTS NEW BOARD CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR
AT ISSUE
COFFEE, EGGS AND IKEA
CONTENT-RICH CONFERENCES INSPIRE RETAILERS IN VANCOUVER AND QUEBEC
THE SUBMISSIONS ARE IN
INDUSTRY RESEARCH
FREEDOM OF IDENTITY
TALENT SHOWS
WINNING THE WAR OF FIT
ADVERTISER'S INDEX
CONSULTING ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - ebelly1
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - ebelly2
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - cover1
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - cover2
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 3
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - PUBLISHER'S DESK
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 5
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - RETAIL CURRENTS
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 7
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - UNDER THE BANNER
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - EXPANDED OFFERING
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - RCC APPOINTS NEW BOARD CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 11
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - AT ISSUE
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - COFFEE, EGGS AND IKEA
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - CONTENT-RICH CONFERENCES INSPIRE RETAILERS IN VANCOUVER AND QUEBEC
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 15
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - THE SUBMISSIONS ARE IN
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 17
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - INDUSTRY RESEARCH
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 19
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - FREEDOM OF IDENTITY
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 21
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 22
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 23
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 24
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 25
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - TALENT SHOWS
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 27
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 28
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 29
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - WINNING THE WAR OF FIT
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 31
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 32
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 33
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - ADVERTISER'S INDEX
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 35
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - CONSULTING ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 37
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 38
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - cover3
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - cover4
Canadian Retailer - Winter 2016 - 43
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