Tuesday, July 01, 2014

U.S. Labor Department Announces Enforcement of Ban On Transgender Discrimination Nationwide

Interesting news out of the Labor Department today, via Chris Geidner. Apparently, the Labor Department has finally agreed to enforce the interpretation that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex protects transgender individuals from discrimination under federal law.

The policy change was announced in a blog post by Secretary Tom Perez:
As we celebrate Pride Month and approach the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Labor Department is reaffirming its commitment to equal opportunity for all. That’s why we are updating enforcement protocols and anti-discrimination guidance to clarify that we provide the full protection of the federal non-discrimination laws that we enforce to transgender individuals. 
These changes reflect current law. In Macy v. Holder, for example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded that discrimination because a person is transgender is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Civil Rights Center, along with the Employment and Training Administration, will issue guidance to make clear that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex.  While the department has long protected employees from sex-based discrimination, its guidance to workers and employers will explicitly clarify that this includes workers who identify as transgender. The department will continue to examine its programs to identify additional opportunities to extend the law’s full protection against discrimination to transgender workers.
This is exciting news, and must be warming to openly lesbian EEOC Chair Chai Feldblum's heart.

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