In an attempt to be inclusive, CVS Pharmacy, a healthcare corporation that hires individuals committed to scientific practices in medicine, has made some surprising decisions. The retail giant recently introduced a new policy on how to address “trans” coworkers, opening all restrooms to be used by anyone at any time.
Furthermore, employees who inform their supervisors about their intention to undergo gender transition will be entitled to time off, and the company will require their colleagues to use preferred pronouns.
These “gender transition guidelines” were acquired by Fox Business, revealing how the company’s executives are addressing the ongoing gender debates.
CVS encourages employees planning a gender transition to inform their colleagues, so the company can “provide support and make your transition as smooth as possible.” They also suggest employees seek “appropriate medical care to support your transition, including treatments such as hormone replacement therapy and/or gender confirmation surgery.”
However, what might seem like progressive corporate policies to some, may appear to others as an imposition on employees who simply want to come to work and make a living without having their employer dictate their stance on controversial issues.
Within the guidelines, CVS has included a section on “Supporting a Colleague who is Transitioning.” It asks employees to be mindful of not misgendering their colleagues and encourages the use of terms like transgender, trans-male/trans-female, non-binary, or ‘male’ or ‘female.’
Despite the good intentions behind these policies, they may have unintended consequences. Female employees who may not feel comfortable sharing personal spaces with biological men are no longer given a choice, as the company instructs employees to use bathrooms that make them feel validated.
This new policy might have been introduced with the aim of being progressive, but it raises questions about the company’s priorities. Will these guidelines affect relationships among staff members? And more importantly, is CVS the right place for people to obtain quality medicine when the company appears to prioritize ideology over science?
While inclusivity is an important value, it is crucial for companies to strike the right balance between supporting their employees and ensuring they do not alienate or impose on others in the process.