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Guidance for Updating Employee Handbooks with Gender-Neutral Pronouns

2.7.20

Increasingly, companies are removing "he" and "she" from their employee handbooks and replacing them with gender-neutral pronouns, such as "they".  The companies are doing this to make nonbinary individuals who do not identify as male or female feel included. Reporters at SHRM spoke with Cheryl Behymer about what employers should consider when making these changes. She said: "A company may want to define 'employee' early in its handbook and say that it includes employees who identify as male, female or nonbinary. Then the company could use 'employee' in the handbook, knowing the definition has already been established.”  Nonetheless, she added, that even if the plural pronouns "they," "their" and "them" are not grammatically correct, the employer might want to use them and explain why it is doing so in the handbook's introduction. 

To read the full article, visit SHRM.

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