Doraville became the third metro-area city to include gender identification in its nondiscrimination statement with a unanimous vote on Nov. 3.
The city not only expanded its nondiscrimination policies to cover transgender workers, but also approved a set of policies that detail how a city employee seeking to transition genders should proceed.
The only change made to the policy before it was approved in a 6-0 vote was to require an employee provide a 30-day notice of intent to transition.
“We made a minor modification to satisfy some people, but we passed it,” Doraville Mayor Pro-Tem Robert Roche said.
Council member Brian Bates, the only openly gay Republican elected in Georgia, wanted to see the policies in place before the nondiscrimination statement was changed. He said requiring 30 days notice gives coworkers and the employee a chance to adapt.
“It provided a little bit of a comfort zone for department heads and gave employees time to come up with a transition plan,” Bates said.
He added that the reason for the concern “was more along the lines of showing up the day of [presenting as the opposite gender] with notification, showing up one day with no transition plan. This allows department heads and the employee to come up with thoughtful plan to help ease the transition.”
Bates and Roche said the 30-day wait is reasonable because those transitioning genders are required to gradually incorporate their transition into all aspects of their lives.
Cole Thaler, national transgender rights attorney for Lambda Legal, also agreed with the 30-day waiting period. Thaler said he consulted with the city leaders on transitioning advice and provided several model policies for the city to consider.
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