by Chalmers Johnson, Employment Attorney
Trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming employees in the workplace
This week, The Seattle Times reported that Merriman-Webster added “they” to the American/English language as a pronoun for a “single person whose gender is nonbinary.” As an employment lawyer, I had to ask myself, “how is this going to affect the workplace?”
My inquiry led me to a chat with my brother, an employee of the City of Portland, Oregon. To him, this issue is an old one. Apparently the City requires its employees to include, a sign-off on their emails, to state a preferred set of pronouns, including they/them, and other employees are required to use that pronoun set when addressing the employee in the third person.