Friday, December 19, 2014

US Transgender Workers Protections

Attorney General Eric Holder has released a memo that the US Justice Department is now interpreting federal law to end workplace discrimination against transgender people. This means that the Justice Department will be able to bring legal claims for our trans community who have been discriminated against by state & local public employers based on sex identity. In defending these lawsuits the federal government will also no longer take the position that Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act that bans sex discrimination & does not protect against workplace discrimination on the basis of gender status. However the Justice Department does not have authority to sue private employers & the new memo does not affect that but it is a sign that perhaps LGBT workplace protections may be on the horizon for all. As you know in July Obama ordered employment protection for gay & transgender employees who work for the U.S. government or for companies holding federal contracts. Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, welcomed Holder's memo stating, "It's just another message to employers, whether they are public employers or private employers, that it is illegal in every state in this country to discriminate against transgender people in employment."
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