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August 09, 2011

Mayor Gray charts steps to overcome anti-transgender employment barriers

I blogged previously about several activists's Aug. 4 meeting with Mayor Vincent Gray on transgender employment issues. Here is a meeting summary. Mayor Gray committed to several efforts to decrease employment barriers and increase access to jobs for transgender persons:

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).

The group that met on August 4 will reconvene in September to assess progress and discuss next steps. The Office of GLBT Affairs will be the primary point of contact.

This is a good beginning. It depends upon follow-through on the specified action items. Thanks to Jeri Hughes for her leadership on this issue, and to GLBT Affairs Director Jeff Richardson for riding herd on the administration's efforts.

Update: Yusef Najafi at Metro Weekly reports.


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