MGT 552: Ethics Research Paper
What are the ethical issues that the senior management team of Fortune 500 company should address relative to transgendered and transgendering employees, and what process(es) should the senior management team use to address those issues?
April 25, 2012
In our society people like to be able to categorize one another specifically when indentifying an individual’s sexuality, race, gender, and/or political viewpoints. Having these categories makes people feel more comfortable because they want to know how to talk to, think about, and how to approach one another. In many workplaces people are given the opportunity to meet and interact with people that have differences from themselves. Ideally employees should have a tolerance for the differences relative to their fellow employees. However for some, when a co-workers transgender status is in question a red flag is raised because transgendered and transgendering employees tend to affect the comfort level of some.
Overall in our society today, there is a lack of uniformity regarding the legal responsibility of an organization to protect transgendered or transgendering employees from discrimination as well as protect the comfort level of the other employees. This paper will address the ethical issues that the senior management team of Fortune 500 company should address relative to transgendered and transgendering employees, and what process(es) should the senior management team use to address those issues.
Transgender history can be traced back to ancient and biblical times, and was found in areas all over the world, including but not limited to Europe, Egypt, and Germany. Throughout the first fifty years of the 1900’s, transgender studies were done, transgender clinics were opened, and sexual reassignment surgery was performed. On June 28, 1969, the police raided a popular gay bar in New York City, which lead to a six day protest in the street; known as the stonewall riots which is viewed as a major turning point in the gay civil rights movement. The transgender movement for the most part has been part of the
LGBT fight, which has continued to grow tremendously since the 1970’s. “The LGBT Project works for an America free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This means an
America where LGBT people can live openly, where their identities, relationships and families are
respected, and where there is fair treatment on the job, in schools, housing, public places, health care, and government programs.” (LGBT rights, n.d., para. 1).
The gay rights movement has made great strides because increasing numbers of people know, or are related to, an openly gay person. The number of transgender people in the United States is very minimal compared to the gay community so many Americans are uneducated, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable with the transgender community. “According to poll data from 2008, only 8% of
Americans said they either worked with or personally knew a transgender person, compared to 78% who said they worked with or knew a lesbian or gay person. Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth.”(GLAAD’s, n.d., para. 1). Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is common (and even pervasive) in the workplace in many countries. Transgendered individuals experience extremely high unemployment rates and many have very low incomes (up to 60% are without jobs and between 22% - 64% earn less than $25,000 year).
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a proposed bill in the United States
Congress that would prevent discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, non-religious employers with at least 15 employees. The bill first was presented in
1994 with no success