An absurd new Biden administration policy directed toward employees at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would see employees potentially fired for failing to use “proper pronouns,” the Daily Caller reports.
The policy, being implemented this month, was sent to department staff on Oct. 11, according to Roger Severino, former director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, entitled the “Gender Identity Non-Discrimination and Inclusion Policy for Employees and Applicants.” is being touted as a “necessary step” to create a more “inclusive” space for “gender-diverse” employees and “provide workplace procedures safeguarding gender expression.”
Emails obtained by Severino said that due to the new policy, HHS employees must now call their fellow employees by their “preferred pronouns” or risk creating an “unlawful hostile work environment.”
“All employees should be addressed by the names and pronouns they use to describe themselves,” the policy reads. “This practice also creates an inclusive work environment where all applicants and employees are treated with dignity.
The isolated and inadvertent use of an incorrect name or pronoun will generally not constitute unlawful harassment. However, as [the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission] explained, intentional and repeated use of an incorrect name or pronoun (or both) could, in certain circumstances, contribute to an unlawful hostile work environment.”
While the policy doesn’t specifically point out the penalties for “intentional and repeated” use of improper pronouns, Severino claimed in an "X" post that it could be grounds for termination.
“It makes no mention of 1st Amendment rights against compelled speech or of free religious exercise, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or religious accommodation,” Severino wrote.
Severino also noted that “HHS requires facilities with showers and changing rooms be open to people of the opposite sex based on their say so, and women who ‘feel uncomfortable’ are the ones who have to leave the facilities.”
The policy allows HHS employees to use sick leave or time off for “gender transition” procedures for themselves or a family member.
“Employees receiving medical treatment as part of a gender transition or any form of gender-affirming healthcare may use sick leave or other leave available under applicable regulations and policies.
Similarly, suppose the employee requests the use of leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) related to their (or a family member’s) transition. In that case, the employee must follow the Department’s and Division’s procedures to request FMLA leave.”
The Daily Caller contacted HHS for comment but didn’t receive a response.