Rational employees will come out as gay or transgender prior to the next performance review?

This is a pretty old idea (see the French movie The Closet from 2001, for example), but with more states adding protections for workers who are gay or transgender I am wondering if it wouldn’t be rational for employees who fear that they are losing the rat race to come out to their bosses prior to their next performance review. A white male worker can thus transform himself from a non-protected worker into a difficult-to-fire member of a protected class (depending on the state).

Employers aren’t supposed to be asking a lot of questions about who was sharing an employee’s bed the previous night or what activities took place in that bed. Nor is there any business situation in which an employee’s identification with a different gender and potential for medical procedures could be discussed. If an employer crosses the line and asks “But aren’t you married with two kids?” an employee can always answer “My wife is very understanding.”

What’s wrong with this idea in practice?

[How much is a meritless employment discrimination case worth in California? Kleiner Perkins offered Ellen Pao $ 964,502 (Mercury News), too much of a discount from her $ 10 million demand, apparently, and about the same as she would have received by having sex with a $ 250,000/year earner in Massachusetts and harvesting guideline child support for 23 years (though the child support would be tax-free whereas the settlement money might have been taxable as a substitute for lost wages).]

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

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