CVS 'gender transition' guide says employees must use preferred pronouns, can use bathroom reflecting identity
EXCLUSIVE: CVS Health's "gender transition guidelines" for employees requires workers to address people by their preferred pronouns and names and that they may use whichever restroom or locker room they wish regardless of whether the individual identifies as transgender.
In the guidelines obtained exclusively by FOX Business, employees are told they may be entitled to a medical leave of absence "under the Family and Medical Leave Act, state law, and/or CVS Health policy." Transitioning employees are asked to tell their immediate leaders about their transition so the company "can provide support and to make your transition as smooth as possible."
"You may also wish to have appropriate medical care to support your transition, including treatments such as hormone replacement therapy and/or gender confirmation surgery," the guide states.
"During and after the transition has occurred, CVS Health encourages you to continue to partner with your Leader and your Advice & Counsel representative, and to immediately report any issues that you might have with your employment, your work environment, and/or your Leader, co-workers, clients, and customers," it continues.
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In a section titled, "Guidelines for Supporting a Colleague who is Transitioning," the guide encourages employees to be an ally by asking colleagues to let them know if they say or do anything that makes them uncomfortable. It also urges employees to not make assumptions about a person's gender.
It says employees should become an ally to make a positive impact on a co-worker's life, become an inclusive leader, champion and celebrate all aspects of diversity and to show compliance with the CVS Health Equal Employment, Affirmative Action, AntiDiscrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Anti-Retaliation Policy.
CVS Health's Employment, Affirmative Action, AntiDiscrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Anti-Retaliation Policy says the company is "committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity and takes affirmative action to recruit, hire, employ, develop, compensate, promote and advance in employment based on an individual’s job-related qualifications, abilities, and job performance." It also states that the company prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, military status, disability and other personal characteristics.
The document also asks transgender employees to include their preferred pronouns in their email signatures, introduce their preferred pronouns in meeting introductions and to tell colleague's that they "won’t tolerate even subtle forms of discrimination or harassment in the workplace."
After a transgender employee makes their preferred pronouns and name known, co-workers are instructed not to refer to them by other pronouns or their previous name.
"People use different terms to refer to themselves, but some terms are universally considered disrespectful and violate CVS’s policy against discrimination and harassment," the guide states. "Terms like transgender, trans-male/trans-female, non-binary or ‘male’ or ‘female’ should be used."
The guidelines' section on bathroom access says company policy allows all employees to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, adding that all workers "should determine the most appropriate for themselves."
CVS Health has provided additional bathroom options where possible and required that include single-occupancy, gender-neutral facilities and multiple-occupant, gender-neutral restroom facilities with lockable single-occupant stalls, according to the document.
"Any colleague, customer, or patient—transgender or otherwise--may choose to use the restroom and/or locker room that is appropriate to the gender they identify with," the guide reads.
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Employees may also dress in accordance with their gender identity.
The document also provides definitions of terms, including "transgender," "cisgender," "gender dysphoria," "non-binary," "gender non-conforming," "gender identity" and "ally." The guide states that "transgender people" is acceptable to use but "transgenders" and "transgendered" is considered derogatory.
The document further notes that transgender employees have "the right to be who they are without unnecessary disclosure of medical information or gender history."
CVS Health did not respond to a request for comment from FOX Business.
Read more of this story from FOX Business.