She also explained that up until then, she had really liked the transgender employee. She had wanted to call her by the correct gender pronoun but simply made a careless error and slipped up a handful of times.
I told her that I understood where she was coming from because mistakes do happen. On the other hand, this is an evolving world. So, yes, this issue is new for people but she also needs to be more aware. She was the only person in the store who continuously got the employee's gender pronouns wrong.
Although we did not end up reprimanding her, I really emphasized that we need to make sure that we're paying extra attention to how we're using our words and also conscious of how we're treating our co-workers.
Editor's note: The onus is on the employer to create a safe work environment for transgender employees, says Kayley Whalen, an activist at the National LGBTQ Task Force. If a transgender employee feels mistreated, Whalen recommends that they document the harassment, notify HR and pursue legal action if the behavior continues.
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