Huge turning point: Major national family-wage employer to offer full transgender health benefits

fred meyer kroger transLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — The country’s largest grocer, The Kroger Company — owner of stores bearing its name and the names of others chains it purchased, like Fred Meyer, — is gearing up to offer full transgender benefits, including surgery and drug therapy to eligible employees beginning on January 1, 2016.

Kroger is the 5th largest private employer in the United States with 400,000 employees. Unlike many other corporations offering trans benefits, employment at Kroger is attainable for most trans people — hiring right out of high school, or even having no degree at all, is not a prerequisite for many Kroger entry positions.

I cannot overstate the relative ease of access to employment trans people have at many Kroger/Fred Meyer store locations. While it’s true, entry level positions may be only part-time and the work performed often not to ones’ taste, but the upside is huge — by seniority you’ll move to full-time, choice of better positions and even better pay. The company usually promote managers at the store level from within. Opportunities for a rewarding career exists for those with very little to begin with. And this is all on top of the new transgender health benefits.

I know of a number of transgender employees at Fred Meyer who have been there for decades. For the most part, Fred Meyer have always been trans friendly.

I am not sure of whether all union employees will have access to trans health care. This depends on individual contracts with the various locals, however it would appear that eventually all the contracts will include the same provision.

While many Fortune 500 companies offer trans benefits, employment opportunities were problematic sometimes since many trans people lack degrees or experience to get employed in the first place — not so with Kroger, they’re always hiring people whose main virtue is a desire to always show up and do a honest days work.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2015/10/12/kroger-largest-u-s-supermarket-chain-offers-transgender-workers-full-health-benefits/

fred meyer kroger trans

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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Policy, Administrative, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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4 replies

  1. If you’re a trans employee and your treatment at any Kroger location has been less than satisfactory, contact the headquarters at the link below.

    Kroger’s Harassment Policy:

    http://www.thekrogerco.com/docs/default-document-library/business-ethics-policy-april-2014.pdf?sfvrsn=6

    Verbal or physical conduct that (1) denigrates or shows hostility or aversion
    toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, gender, national
    origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or that of the
    individual’s relatives, friends or associates, and (2) has the purpose or effect of
    creating an offensive work environment, unreasonably interferes with an
    individual’s work performance, or otherwise adversely affects an
    individual’s work performance.

    Examples of such harassment include the following:

    making derogatory ethnic or racial statements, or belittling one’s religion or
    religious practices;

    perpetuating stereotypes about one’s
    age, gender, etc. (“You’re too old to
    change your ways”, “This is women’s work;”)

    refusing to assist an
    associate
    or customer because of his/her race, gender,
    etc.; and

    disparaging the sexual orientation
    or gender identity
    of an associate, his/her associates, or a customer.
    Reporting and investigation procedure for sexual
    harassment and other forms of harassment
    If you believe that you are being sexually harassed by a coworker, supervisor, customer or
    vendor or if you believe you are being harassed by
    a coworker, supervisor, customer or vendor because of your race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation,or gender identity, you should take these steps:

    1) Firmly and clearly tell the person who is harassing you
    that his or her behavior is unwelcome and should stop at once. If possible, take a witness to
    this discussion. Write a statement about the incident and what you did to
    stop it, including dates, times and places. This statement will be helpful if
    the harassment continues and the company needs to investigate. If you are
    uncomfortable with telling the person who is harassing you to stop, then
    proceed to the reporting procedure below.

    2) Report the incident to your immediate supervisor, another member of
    management, any person in the Human Resources Department, the President,
    General Manager, Distribution Manager or call the Kroger Helpline at 800-689 4609 or email your concerns to helpline@kroger.com

    .

  2. This is awesome news. But here in Colorado, King Soopers, which is related to Kroger, has a reputation for making work impossible for its transgender employees: transferring them to far-away stores, telling them not to express their gender in their dress at work, and not defending them to occasional customers who say they don’t want their children to see transgender employees. So it’s nice to have inclusive healthcare benefits, if only you can keep your job at King Soopers: A Catch-22. I am unsure if things have changed at KS–anyone know?

    • I can’t speak for the King Scoopers divsion, but if they’re not following Kroger policy, employees need to bring complaints directly to Kroger headquarters. Kroger is unlikely to let a wayward division harm their reputation (ie: lawsuit). But they need to know these things to take action. Kroger HQ: Kroger Helpline at 800-689 4609 or email your concerns to helpline@kroger.com

  3. Full trans benefits? E.g. for MTF does it include vaginoplasty, labiaplasty, BA, FFS, hair removal, liposuction with fat transfer, voice evaluation and therapy, and hair transplants? Some firms even cover the iffy and risky voice pitch and resonance surgery. HRT usually isn’t an issue even at firms without trans benefits because it’s much cheaper and providers can code it as an endocrine disorder. If firms cover anything it will be vaginoplasty but they’re less likely to cover other stuff they consider cosmetic. I don’t know any that cover all without appeals. And the $75,000 suggested cap of the HRC CEI is too low.

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