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by Edward C. Kelleher

DTCC began offering U.S.-based employees new transgender health benefits that include sex-reassignment surgery and related prescription drug treatment. Effective June 1, the company covers transgender health benefits the same as other health care benefits.

“The decision to offer transgender health benefits helps ensure that all our employees are given equal rights,” said Michael Bodson, President and CEO-elect of DTCC. “It illustrates our commitment to an open and non-discriminatory environment where transgender persons are welcomed to our diverse and inclusive organization.”

The DTCC transgender health benefits will follow the guidelines set by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), an international association devoted to promoting the highest standard of health care for transgender persons. WPATH has an established Standard of Care that outlines the accepted clinical guidelines for the mental and physical well-being of individuals who undergo sex-reassignment surgery.

Leading firms

DTCC joins the roster of leading financial services firms offering transgender health benefits to their employees, including American Express, Bank of America, Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse USA, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo & Co., among others.

DTCC senior management reached the decision to offer transgender health benefits this year working in partnership with the company’s LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies) Business Professional Network.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, praised DTCC for its decision.

“We applaud DTCC for extending transgender benefits to its employees and welcome DTCC to the growing list of more than 200 companies that advocate for the full inclusion and equality of transgender employees by offering this coverage,” said Kathryn Friedman, Director of HRC’s Workplace Project. “Companies must strengthen and leverage a healthy workforce with diverse perspectives and talents if they aim to achieve their business goals.”

Same-sex health coverage

The transgender health benefits represent another major step taken by DTCC to ensure equal rights for LGBT employees. Last June, DTCC announced it would reimburse all U.S.-based employees for the federal tax paid on same-sex domestic partner health coverage.

For more than 10 years, DTCC has offered its employees the opportunity to enroll eligible domestic partners in its medical, dental and vision health plans. Under current federal law, however, this health benefit for domestic partners is subject to tax, unlike coverage for legal spouses and dependents as defined by the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996.@