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Miami-Dade Employers (And Others): It's Time to Update Your Handbooks and Personnel Policies.

Given the recent current events both in real life and dramatized in new television dramas, the topic of Gender Identity and Gender Expression has certainly become a trending and hot topic. For Miami-Dade County employers, you should pay closer attention as the City's Ordinance on Human Rights Laws have been amended to include and prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression (and which already prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation) in the employment sector as of December 2, 2014.

The ordinance specifically defines Gender Identity as "a person's innate, deeply felt psychological identification as a man, woman or some other gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g., the sex listed on their birth certificate)." And further defines Gender expression to mean "all of the external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine, such as dress, grooming, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions. Social or cultural norms can vary widely and some characteristics that may be accepted as masculine, feminine or neutral in one culture may not be assessed similarly in another."

As such, it is imperative for Miami-Dade County Employers to immediately update their handbooks and discrimination and harassment personnel policies to include a section or language incorporating the newly amended human rights laws on Gender Identity and Gender Expression. Ordinances and other state and federal laws will soon impact all employers, not just those in Miami-Dade County. So, not only should you update your handbooks and policies but the amendment necessitates training on the new laws for HR personnel, supervisors and all members of management. Miami-Dade County employers, whether as part of their routine quarterly or annual trainings-whenever they might be, should also strongly consider educating their staff on the new laws-specifically, what constitutes Gender Identity or Gender Expression discrimination to avoid the potential liabilities of lawsuits and/or administrative actions based on any violations of the amended law.

At Danz & Kronengold, P.L., we will provide assistance both in updating your current employment handbooks and personnel policies with the newly amended human rights laws or create an employment handbook tailored specifically for your service industry. We also serve as human resources consultants and can provide on-site HR training as needed for staff and management promoting awareness and ensuring understanding of all local, state and federal laws. At Danz & Kronengold P.L., we not only serve in the capacity as defense counsel litigating claims but also strongly advocate our consulting services as a proactive measure in ensuring compliance. Please give us a call at 954-406-7535 or toll free at 866-640-1080 and set up your initial consultation today!

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