Human Resources News & Insights

Transgender employees protected against bias, EEOC says

Transgender individuals can sue for gender discrimination, according to a recent EEOC ruling.

The ruling clarifies the feds’ position on the status of transgender employees. In an email quoted in a Los Angeles Times blog, EEOC spokeswoman Christine Nazer wrote that the ruling is now “the EEOC’s position, and we will apply it in all our enforcement activities.”

The case involves Mia Macy, a transgender woman and former police officer who applied to — and was accepted, pending a background check — the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to the Times account, Macy applied for the job as a man, but meanwhile went through a transition to female. ATF lab officials were notified of her transition.

After Macy and her wife moved to the area from out of state, Macy was told the job had been eliminated due to budget cuts. Later, she learned that the job had been filled.

The EEOC initially denied Macy’s discrimination claim, saying that transgender people were not covered under EEOC complaint procedures.

But the agency’s recent ruling now allows the case to go forward — and establishes a precedent for future claims from transgender employees.

 

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