Transgender Workers Now a Protected Class, EEOC Rules

Don’t discriminate against transgender employees or job applicants. Up until now, this bit of advice likely would have been rooted in morality. But now, it comes straight from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency tasked with interpreting federal employment discrimination laws. And according to a new ruling issued by the Commission, transgender discrimination is prohibited Title VII . So if you engage in such discrimination, the agency may come knocking on your door. Though the Commission’s ruling is not binding on the courts, it will influence how the EEOC and state agencies enforce Title VII. Additionally, the ruling itself was influenced by how the federal courts have tackled the issue of transgender discrimination in the last two decades. Supreme Court precedent affirmatively states that sex stereotyping, including those stereotypes based on gender norms, are prohibited by Title VII. Like many appellate courts before it, the EEOC has applied this rule to transgender individuals. Whether motivated by hostility, gender stereotypes or “to accommodate other people’s prejudices or discomfort … discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination ‘based on …sex,'” wrote the Commission. On its face, the ruling ends here. However, it has additional implications for gay employees. The Commission wrote, “[E]vidence that an employer has acted based on stereotypes about how men and women should act” can serve as a basis for a discrimination claim. It also explained that the law does not tolerate discrimination based on “the cultural and social aspects associated with masculinity and femininity.” These statements could arguably be applied to sexual orientation in the workplace. So not only should employers educate themselves about transgender discrimination, it might be a wise idea to read up on sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Related Resources: EEOC rules job protections also apply to transgender people (Los Angeles Times) Transgender Employee Issues (FindLaw) Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace (FindLaw)

Read the rest here:
Transgender Workers Now a Protected Class, EEOC Rules

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.