Wal-Mart Adds Trans Employee Protections


Retail giant Wal-Mart has added gender identity and gender expression provisions to its nondiscrimination policy, meaning that trans employees will now be better protected from unfair†treatment†while working for the store chain.

From Windy City Times:

The protections include gender identity and gender expression said Phillip Keene, a company spokesperson.

Keene did not confirm when the new policy went into effect, only that the change was made “several weeks ago.”


“We’ve had a strong anti-discrimination policy for a long time,” said Keene.

Indeed, sexual orientation protections have been a part of the company’s “Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy” for some time now. However, Wal-Mart continues to rate poorly among LGBT groups, and wider groups, for its perceived hostile attitude to its workers.

In fact, Wal-Mart scored just 40 out of a possible 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2011 Corporate Equality Index which marked Wal-Mart down, among other reasons, due to a lack of gender identity protections.

The retail chain has also been criticized for†stocking a children’s book that claims parents can help their children overcome homosexuality through religious counselling.

The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York issued a statement at the start of the year opposing a new Wal-Mart in NYC, saying:†”Walmart’s values are not our values and they are certainly not New York’s. Stonewall Democratic Club is committed to building a city that is free from intolerance towards all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people — a city that remains Walmart free.”

That said, Wal-Mart has used its nondiscrimination policy to protect LGB workers in the past, most notably in a case where Wal-Mart went before the 9th Circuit to defend sacking an employee who maintained it was her right to tell her lesbian co-worker that she was going to hell and wasn’t “right in the head” per, the woman said, her religious beliefs. You can read more on that here.

The addition of gender identity and expression protections has met with praise from Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign.

Solmonese welcomed the change in a statement (via the Advocate):†”What matters in the workplace is how you do your job, not your gender identity or sexual orientation. As the nation’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart shows that doing the right thing is also good for business. We urge them to continue to move forward by ensuring all of their LGBT employees receive equal benefits.”

Currently there exists no federal legislation that protects LGBTs in the workplace, leaving them vulnerable in LGBT-rights hostile states. The Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) could change that. Find out more about ENDA here.

Related Reading:

Wal-Martís Gender Washing

The Women Of Wal-Mart [VIDEO]

Wal-Mart Decision Begs For Paycheck Fairness Act

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Monochrome.


Stefanie D.
Stefanie D.5 years ago

better than being treated 'extra crappy'... equality comes slowly
but don't deny those who get it worse, from at least a chance at getting it a bit better,
i.e. a chance at employment rather than no employment chance at all.

Boony McHugh
Reverend Boony6 years ago

Walmart may have a fine and dandy non-discrimination policy BUT they still dont treat women right nor do they always try to sell stuff made in america like they claim...Truth be told, I only shop there because theyre cheaper overall than krogers and some items cant be found at krogers but walmart still has a looong ways to go before I'd ever say that Im proud to shop there.

Ann G.
Ann G6 years ago

Well said, Citizen G! I couldn't agree more.

Citizen G-Karl
Karl Heinemann6 years ago

Whatever "public relations" motive might lie behind this decision, I say that "progress is progress". And I believe in saying "Thank you!" in situations where credit is due. Positive reinforcement for positive steps encourages more positive change in the future. And my "Thank you" is limited to this change; it does not connote any approval for other WalMart company practices.

Citizen G-Karl
Karl Heinemann6 years ago

Whatever public-relations motives might underlie their policy change, I say progress is progress. Positive reinforcement for a positive step encourages further positive change in the future. So I say a hearty "Thank you!" to WalMart for this decision, but ~only~ for this decision.

Chris M.
Chris M6 years ago

Still trying to win us over....

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

Max O. Perhaps, you just have low standards.

Max Overton
Max Overton6 years ago

I was in the USA for five years and worked at three Wal-Mart stores in that time, including being an Assistant Manager for 2 years at one. Honestly, I don't know where people get the idea that W-M grinds its employees down. In my 5 years at 3 stores they were excellent, caring employers. Perhaps I just got lucky?

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

I don't and won't shop at Walmart and know lots of others who won't either yet they are the richest company in the U.S. It seems that sheeple FAR outnumber people of conscience.

Hannah S.
Hannah Short6 years ago

walmart ain't changing nothing, if so i want to know where this walmart is at. They only say they do certain things so they can invade more places