Employers cannot discriminate on the bases of gender identity

Posted April 2012 in Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender by Sharon Lopez

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a landmark ruling on April 23, 2012 that found legal protections for transgendered workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Act. Mia Macy, a woman who was born in the physical body of a man took steps to transition her physical manifestation from male to female.  After she underwent the transition from male to female she was denied a position with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF).  She claimed the ATF denied her employment because of sex discrimination.  The ATF objected claiming transgender status was not protected under Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination.  The EEOC disagreed with the ATF and found Title VII provisions prohibit discrimination based on transgender status. While Ms. Macy will still have the burden of proving discrimination was the reason the ATF denied her the position, the EEOC ruling opens the door for legal protections for transgendered workers under federal law. 

The Macy v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, EEOC Appeal No. 0120120821 (Apr. 20, 2012) opinion can be found at: http://www.eeoc.gov/decisions/0120120821%20Macy%20v%20DOJ%20ATF.txt

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