After meeting with members of the LGBT community and local transgender activists last week to discuss employment issues, Washington, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray made a commitment to decrease employment barriers and improve conditions for trans workers.
Rick Rosendall, Vice President for Political Affairs at the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) summarized the mayor’s commitment on GLAA’s website:
1. Expand cultural diversity training across District Government with a focus on LGBT and specifically transgender cultural competency. The D.C. Department of Human Resources (DHR), the Office of Human Rights (OHR), and the Office of GLBT Affairs will develop a training module for all District government employees by October 1.
2. The Department of Employment Services (DOES) will pilot a transitional employment program targeting transgender community members, to include six weeks of training coupled with subsidized paid employment.
3. DHR will explore the legal issues around use of a ranking factor (requiring agency staff expertise on transgender issues) and implementing a policy similar to the federal Schedule A (which gives agencies authority to make non-competitive appointments of persons with disabilities).
Gray and the group, which also included members of Transgender Health Empowerment and the D.C. Trans Coalition, will reconvene in September to discuss progress and plan future steps.
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