Important legislation recently passed amended Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964. This legislation broadened the scope of sex in the law to include LGBTQ. Be sure not to overlook the actions that should be taken now to ensure compliance with the amended definition of sex under Title VII.
We often think of Title VII of anti-discrimination in employment actions, such as hiring, firing, promotions, etc. The law specifically states: “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual concerning his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin…”. When considering the compensation component, benefits are a place to proactively review and potentially make changes.
When reviewing your benefit plans to ensure compliance with LGBTQ, you are encouraged to consider the following components:
- Medical plan coverage terms –Consider adding coverage for gender affirmation surgery. Also, review your provider network to ensure some providers are supportive and provide services related to LGBTQ health and mental care. Additionally, review and consider additional coverage for family planning benefits would create a more inclusive plan offering for LGBTQ.
- EAP plans – This would be an excellent time to review the terms and conditions of the EAP agreement and promote the benefits available for LGBTQ.
- Disability Plan – Reviewing your disability coverage for gender-affirmation surgery will support LGBTQ compliance.
The new legislation is a positive step in inclusion; employers must ensure that benefit plans change accordingly. Employers Council can help; please call us with questions.