Coming Out as an Employee

Resources and Benefits for LGBTQIA2S+ Employees

If you are an employee at the university and coming out yourself, here are a few pieces of information and advice to consider as you navigate your coming out.


Health benefits are available to eligible employees. The University of Redlands does offer benefits for your partner and children. To receive benefits as a partner you must be in a legal partnership or legally married. Additionally, for your eligible dependents, you will need to provide a copy of their birth certificate and/or adoption paperwork to the office of Human Resources (HR) for them to be able to receive benefits. Additionally, employees with medical coverage through the University have access to counseling services for themselves and anyone listed on their healthcare plan.

Name Change

If the university system does not reflect the name that you use, you can contact Information and Technology Services (ITS) to have it changed in the system. You do not have to legally change your name first to make this switch. ITS is located in the Willis Center and is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm PST. You can contact IT either by phone at (909) 748-8922, by email at, or visit the ITS website.

If you legally change your name, the office of Human Resources (HR) has a process in place to update the documentation to reflect your legal name change. To do this, you will need to first complete the legal name change process and then obtain your new social security card with the matching name. HR will need both the court affidavit and your new social security card to change your name in the system and for the benefits that you have. If you have any questions about this process, please reach out to HR either by phone at (909) 748-8040 or visit the Office of Human Resources website. HR is located on the ground level, west side, of the Armacost Library and is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm PST.

Gender Marker Change

You can change your gender marker in the University system under Private Information through the HR portal. The gender selected here is only seen by HR. If you have completed a legal gender marker change and would like this reflected in systems outside of the university (ex. healthcare, dental, retirement, etc.) please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Employee Resources

The University has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Health Advocate for eligible employees. EAP offers counseling, a 24/7 nurse line, health advocacy, and telehealth (including video counseling). EAP also assists with legal, financial, and ID recovery in which you can connect with a lawyer or certified financial counselor for a free consultation. Contact Human Resources at (909) 748-8040 or visit the Human Resources portal through your for more information. You can also contact EAP directly at 866-799-2728 or use the Health Advocate website.

Coming Out to Your Coworkers

There are a lot of options when it comes to thinking through how you would like to tell your coworkers that you are LGBTQIA2S+. Below are some possible ways that you can think about coming out to your coworkers:

  • Let it happen organically through conversation. This could be by sharing what you and your partner are doing this weekend or sharing your new pronouns during introductions.
  • Send an email to your supervisor and coworkers letting them know that you go by a new name.
  • Change your email signature to reflect the name and pronouns you use. Instructions on how to do this can be found in the ‘Tech Support’ section below
  • Be selective about who you share it with. You might choose to do this for a variety of reasons but depending on your situation, inviting a couple or a few close folks into this space of knowing might be helpful.
  • Tell Human Resources. You could CC your boss on an email to have institutional support. If going through an official channel makes it feel safer, then it is something to consider.
  • Let people learn about your gender or sexual orientation by just being yourself. Having a picture of you and your partner on your desk and having your pronouns listed in your email signature are more holistic ways to come out.

Articles about Coming Out and Transitioning in the Workplace

Transitioning in the Workplace

This article from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) offers constructive advice on applying for jobs, coming up with an action plan, coming out to coworkers, and ongoing support. Transitioning in the Workplace: A Guide for Trans Employees Article

Coming Out to Your Coworkers

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) shares information about your federal rights, questions to consider, advice on navigating things after coming out at work, and benefits of being out at work. Coming Out to Your Coworkers Article

What protections do I have in California and Federally?

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California answers commonly asked questions about what protections exist and how far they extend. The protections discussed in this article cover your rights whether or not you are out, rights for transitioning at work, rights if you are non-binary, and more. California LGBTQ Employment Rights Article

Faculty, Employee, and Student Worker Rights

Faculty Handbook May 2021

Section 3.5.5 Prohibition of Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination states, “The University is committed to sustaining itself as an academic community that incorporates principles of fairness, equal opportunity, and compliance with applicable laws. All employees and students have the right to be treated according to the same set of standards and expectations as are their peers, and they have an equal right to seek advancement based on individual effort and merit. Given the centrality of education to our institutional mission, the University places special emphasis on the rights of students to experience equal treatment from professors in advising, instruction, and evaluation” (89).

To read the full policy, visit the University of Redlands 2021 Faculty Handbook PDF

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for any person to discriminate in employment against any individual because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It is unlawful to discriminate against any individual regarding recruiting, hiring and promotion, transfer, work assignments, performance measurements, the work environment, job training, discipline and discharge, wages and benefits, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Full-Text Website

Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court Decision

Employees are federally protected from unlawful discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on June 15, 2020, in the case Bostock v. Clayton County. This SCOTUS decision upheld Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and reaffirmed that ‘sex’ encompasses gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information about this case, visit the Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Website

California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

Through the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) it is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, age (40 and over), disability (mental and physical), sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, and military or veteran status. Additionally, it is unlawful under the FEHA for an employer to harass an employee, volunteer, intern, job applicant, or contractor based on any of the protected characteristics. The FEHA protects from unlawful discrimination in advertisements applications, screening, interviews, hiring, transferring, promoting, terminating, separating employees' working conditions (including compensation), participation in a training or apprenticeship program, and employee organization or union. For more information about the FEHA visit The California Civil Rights Department Employment Discrimination Website.

Equality in the Workplace Organizations and Resources

These organizations, sectors, and websites cover creating and finding support within your organization, federal protections against discrimination, and equality indexes for an inclusive workplace. Out and Equal Website United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Website Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index 2022 Website