Conducting enterprise within the Virgin Islands poses distinctive challenges not typically encountered within the states, but additionally distinctive alternatives. This 20-part sequence will supply ideas for doing enterprise within the U.S. Virgin Islands, overlaying a broad array of matters affecting employers. Half six of this sequence addresses office guidelines, orders, and directions.
Tip 6: Contemplate the Implications of the Supreme Courtroom of the USA’ Bostock choice for Virgin Islands Employers
In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the Supreme Courtroom of the USA, on June 15, 2020, dominated that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits intercourse discrimination together with discrimination towards homosexual and transgender people. Because the Supreme Courtroom defined, “A person’s homosexuality or transgender standing will not be related to employment selections. That’s as a result of it’s unimaginable to discriminate towards an individual for being gay or transgender with out discriminating towards that particular person based mostly on intercourse.” Title VII covers all personal employers, state and native governments, and academic establishments that make use of 15 or extra people. As well as, Title VII additionally covers personal and public employment businesses, labor organizations, and joint labor administration committees controlling apprenticeship and coaching. In consequence, the Bostock choice has necessary implications for employers that make use of 15 or extra workers and do enterprise within the Virgin Islands.
Employers with fewer than 15 workers could wish to be conscious of the Bostock choice as effectively. All employers doing enterprise within the Virgin Islands, no matter measurement, are lined by the Virgin Islands Civil Rights Act (VICRA), which makes it illegal “to refuse to rent or make use of or to bar or to discharge from employment” a person due to intercourse or to “discriminate towards such particular person in compensation or in phrases, situations or privileges of employment.” Though will probably be left to Virgin Islands courts to find out whether or not discrimination based mostly upon sexual orientation or gender id constitutes discrimination based mostly upon intercourse underneath VICRA, employers can anticipate that litigants will urge Virgin Islands courts to interpret VICRA in the identical method that the Supreme Courtroom has now interpreted Title VII.
In consequence, Virgin Islands employers could want to think about taking the next actions to make sure that workers and candidates are handled equally and with out regard to both sexual orientation or gender id.
Replace Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Insurance policies
Employers could want to evaluate their nondiscrimination and anti-harassment insurance policies to find out if these insurance policies expressly deal with therapy based mostly upon sexual orientation and gender id. If these traits are usually not expressly talked about, employers could wish to think about modifying their inside insurance policies to incorporate these classes. Because the dissenting opinions in Bostock mirror, discrimination “due to intercourse” has not been uniformly understood and interpreted to embody sexual orientation or gender id. Updating office insurance policies to incorporate these classes could assist to teach and inform workers in regards to the vary of conduct that isn’t allowed within the office.
Educate Supervisors, Managers, and People Chargeable for Conducting Office Investigations
Employers doing enterprise within the Virgin Islands may want to educate supervisors, managers, and people accountable for conducting investigations about their accountability to implement insurance policies prohibiting discrimination or harassment on the premise of sexual orientation or gender id. One potential byproduct of Bostock is that people who consider that they’ve skilled unfavorable therapy due to their sexual orientation or gender id might be extra keen to come back ahead as a result of the uncertainty in regards to the extent of Title VII’s protection has now been laid to relaxation. As a result of supervisors and managers have a heightened accountability to make sure compliance with anti-discrimination legal guidelines, employers could wish to be sure that these people clearly perceive the scope of the protections associated to discrimination “due to intercourse” underneath federal (and doubtlessly, territorial) legislation.
Replace Coaching Supplies
Though employers are usually not obligated underneath the legal guidelines of the Virgin Islands to conduct sexual harassment coaching on an annual foundation, coaching at common intervals stays a doubtlessly efficient approach to make sure that all workers perceive their employers’ expectations concerning respectful office conduct. If the supplies presently utilized don’t deal with discrimination or harassment on the premise of sexual orientation and gender id, employers could want to replace coaching supplies to make sure that all members of their workforces have a constant understanding of acceptable office conduct, no matter any private beliefs held by an worker. Such coaching could embrace matters resembling addressing people by most popular pronouns and reinforcing respectful interactions in communications that happen each in individual and when using e mail or different written platforms made out there by the employer.
Consider Costume Codes and Grooming Insurance policies
Employers with gown codes and grooming insurance policies could wish to evaluate, and if applicable, revise these insurance policies to make sure that they’re gender-neutral. Particularly, employers could wish to consider insurance policies that deal with size of hair, presence of facial hair, use of hair coverings, or insurance policies that specify explicit uniforms based mostly upon the gender of a person and take applicable measures to make sure that the emphasis is on apparel that’s applicable for the work setting and per enterprise necessity quite than on the intercourse assigned at delivery.
Deal with Entry to Bogs and Different Intercourse-Segregated Services
Within the wake of Bostock, employers doing enterprise within the Virgin Islands additionally would possibly wish to think about the existence of pointers concerning using loos, locker rooms, and different sex-segregated amenities. Though employers could retain restrooms and related amenities which might be designated by gender, employers could wish to permit people to make the most of the amenities which might be per their gender id.
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