Gender identity on the workplace : a critical analysis of trans workers’ legal condition in Italy in light of the international and European standards
Trans persons, and the LGBTQIA+ community in general, experience a remarkably high rate of discrimination in Italy. With particular regard to the employment context, because of the still strong existent stereotypes and stigma, trans persons face many hurdles in accessing jobs, being selected for positions that reflect their educational background, or, even if they have been recruited, finding good working conditions. The present study has the scope to shed light on the critical conditions of trans workers in Italy, by examining the limits of the national labour legislations applicable and also considering the strength and shortcomings of relevant International and European standards. It shows that none of the International, European, and Italian labour laws expressly take into consideration gender identity as a ground of discrimination. Although extensive interpretation of the existent anti-discrimination laws by the labour courts is emerging and grass root good labour practices are adopted and implemented by companies and employees’ representatives, these actions are not sufficient to strongly and remarkably affirm trans workers’ rights. Therefore, it reaches the conclusion that an express protection by law is pivotal to eliminate inconsistent and unpredictable interpretative approaches, to foster trans workers’ trust in the legal framework, and to push a more progressive mind-set through the educational role of the law.