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In the News: "Sea Change" in transgender employment rights
Submitted by matty on Tue, 2012-04-24 11:56
from Daily Kos.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that transpeople are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That ruling was issued on April 20 but was not revealed until yesterday's decision in the case of Mia Macy, who claimed she was denied employment by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after the agency learned of her transition.
The EEOC opinion was issued without objection by the 5-member bipartisan commission. It will apply to all EEOC enforcement and litigation including all 53 field offices and be binding on all federal agencies and departments.
[T]he Commission hereby clarifies that claims of discrimination based on transgender status, also referred to as claims of discrimination based on gender identity, are cognizable under Title VII's sex discrimination prohibition ….
Masen Davis, head of the Transgender Law Center (TLC), says the decision is a ''big leap forward.'' TLC advocates, who brought Macy's case, note that after today's ruling transgender people who feel they have faced employment discrimination can go into any of those 53 offices and the EEOC will consider their claims. What's more, the EEOC could take action itself to sue the employer for discrimination.
Given the incredibly high rate of employment discrimination facing transgender people, this is incredibly significant for us. Data from the National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that 78 percent of transgender Americans say they've experienced workplace discrimination at some point in time. Given that transgender people do not have employment protections in the vast majority of states, this creates a whole new fabric of legal support for our community.
--Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center