I have plenty of “guilty pleasures” when it comes to television watching. Dancing with the Stars isn’t one of them.
(Though considering how my Yankees did last night, I probably should’ve just changed the channel to watch DWTS instead).
But DWTS has a knack for making headlines (Bristol Palin, anyone?) and this season is no different.
Chaz Bono, the child of Sonny Bono and Cher, has been making headlines though for his appearance on the show. H Chaz — formerly known as Chastity and who underwent sex reassignment surgery — is being credited by some as raising the issue of gender identity to the forefront in the United States.
His appearance comes at a fortuitous time, at least in Connecticut when it comes to gender identity issues. A new gender identity anti-discrimination law went into effect over the weekend and employers need to be aware of the implications of this law in the workplace. (I’ve previously recapped the law here.)
An article in this week’s Connecticut Law Tribune has many attorneys opining on what the impact will be of this new law.
Perhaps the only thing that all the attorneys agreed upon is that courts may be asked to resolve the ambiguities present.
With the enactment of Connecticut’s new law, however, some questions are bound to surface, lawyers agree. “That’s why courts exist,” said [Joshua] Hawks-Ladds, of Pullman & Comley. “Having litigated discrimination cases for over 20 years now, I can tell you these types of laws often result in litigation over subtle definitions and meanings.”
For employers, that means that these issues — including enforcement of dress codes and use of bathrooms — will need to be carefully considered as the parameters are defined.