CA City to Vote on Gender Reassignment Benefit

January 18, 2011 ( - The Berkeley City Council is set to vote Tuesday on setting aside $20,000 annually for city workers' gender-reassignment surgery.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the benefit would allow employees to collect the money before the operation. To receive the payout, employees would have to have lived as the opposite sex for at least one year and undergone hormone therapy. They also would have to have worked for the city at least a year.  

According to the news report, the city would dole out the $20,000 on a first-come, first-served basis. The money would not accrue from year to year; it would stay indefinitely at $20,000.  

The city initially asked its two health insurance providers to include sex-change surgery in their coverage for city employees, but Kaiser doesn’t provide the service, and Health Net said premiums for the entire staff would increase substantially if sex-change operations were included. 

“We offer all kinds of benefits to our employees. This brings our benefits in line with what’s just and fair for the transgender community,” said City Councilman Darryl Moore, who originally proposed the idea in 2007, in the news report.