Can me employer fire me for not using transgender pronouns when addressing clients?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can me employer fire me for not using transgender pronouns when addressing clients?

I work at a youth home and we recently accepted a girl who thinks she is a boy but has had no transistion. My manager is trying to force us to use him/he pronouns when addressing this resident. Can my manager legally regulate our language? And if we refuse to comply can we legally be fired for this?

Asked on November 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Is there a union agreement or employment contract that affords you protection under the circumstances? Does this treatment constitute some form of actionable discriminaition (which it does not appear to)? If, not then you are an "at will" worker which means that your employer can set the conditions of the worklace much as it sees fit. This includes mandating that employees use transgender pronouns when addressing clients. Additionally, a worker can be fired for not doing so. In fact, a company can discharge an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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