In what has been hailed as a “landmark” move, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled Monday that employers which discriminates against an employee or potential employee based on their gender identity is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.
Having earlier filed a complaint on behalf of Mia Macy, a California transgender woman denied a job, the Transgender Law Center issued the following statement, re-printed in The Miami Herald among other publications, on the ruling:
“In its unprecedented decision, the EEOC concluded that ‘intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination ”˜based on … sex’ and such discrimination … violates Title VII.
The ruling came as a result of a discrimination complaint filed by Transgender Law Center on behalf of Mia Macy, a transgender woman who was denied a job as a ballistics technician at the Walnut Creek, California laboratory of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Ms. Macy, a veteran and former police detective, initially applied for the position as male and was told that she virtually was guaranteed the job.
Ms. Macy was exceptionally qualified for the position, having a military and law enforcement background and being one of the few people in the country who had already been trained on ATF’s ballistics computer system. After disclosing her gender transition mid-way through the hiring process, Ms. Macy was told that funding for that position had been suddenly cut. She later learned that someone else had been hired for the job.”
Ruling (scribd): Mia Macy Complainant, vs. Eric Holder
Washington Blade: HISTORIC: EEOC ruling protects trans workers from discrimination
A Watershed Moment for Workplace Equality
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Ruling Protects Transgender Workers
Center for American Progress, By Jeff Krehely & Crosby Burns, April 24
Late yesterday the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a sweeping ruling giving transgender individuals sorely needed federal protections against workplace discrimination. According to the ruling, employers who discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of gender identity can now be found in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964””specifically its prohibition of sex discrimination in employment.
This ruling marks the first time the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has held that federal law protects transgender people from discrimination. Metro Weekly reporter Chris Geidner broke the story late yesterday:
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.
The ruling has far-reaching implications. Prior to yesterday’s ruling transgender employees only had legal workplace protections based on gender identity in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Going forward this decision institutes comprehensive protections for transgender workers that apply to both private and public employees across the entire United States.