In Landmark Ruling, Feds Add Transgendered to Anti-Discrimination Law
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled Monday that the federal discrimination law will now protect employees based on gender identity. Employers who discriminate against an employee or potential employee will now be in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The EEOC said, "intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination ’based on ... sex’ and such discrimination ... violates Title VII."
This marks the first time the organization has offered a clear guide on gender identity discrimination.
The ruling is a result from a discrimination complaint filed by the Transgender Law Center for Mia Macy -- a transgender woman who was refused a job as a ballistics technician for a the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Macy, a veteran and former police detective, says she applied for the position when she was still a male and was told that the job was practically hers. A statement from the Transgender Law Center says 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."
But after she disclosed her gender during the hiring process, Macy was told that funding for the position had been cut but she later discovered that someone else filled the job.
"As a veteran and a police officer, I’ve worked my whole career to uphold the values of fairness and equality," Macy said in a statement. "Although the discrimination I experienced was painful both personally and financially, and led to the loss of my family’s home to foreclosure, I’m proud to be a part of this groundbreaking decision confirming that our nation’s employment discrimination laws protect all Americans, including transgender people. I’m grateful for the help of Transgender Law Center, which believed in me from the start and helped guide me through this process. No one should be denied a job just for being who they are."