EEOC Issues Breakthrough Ruling Protecting Transgender Workers

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April 24, 2012

The opinion issued on April 20 is a big victory for the Transgender Law Center, and builds on the momentum of our federal appeals court victory on behalf of Vandy Beth Glenn, a legislative editor who was fired after announcing her gender transition.

Via Chris Geidner at Metro Weekly:

An employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person's gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to an opinion issued on April 20 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The opinion, experts say, could dramatically alter the legal landscape for transgender workers across the nation.

The opinion came in a decision delivered on Monday, April 23, to lawyers for Mia Macy, a transgender woman who claims she was denied employment with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after the agency learned of her transition. It also comes on the heels of a growing number of federal appellate and trial courts deciding that gender-identity discrimination constitutes sex discrimination, whether based on Title VII or the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

The EEOC decision, issued without objection by the five-member, bipartisan commission, will apply to all EEOC enforcement and litigation activities at the commission and in its 53 field offices throughout the country. It also will be binding on all federal agencies and departments.

Read the article at Metro Weekly and check out Lambda Legal's Transgender Rights Toolkit including fact sheets on Equal Access to Public Restrooms, Transition-Related Health Care, Transgender Parents and Workplace Rights & Wrongs.