Apr 242012
 
Mia and Trish

In a landmark ruling, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that Title VII, the federal sex discrimination law, protects employees who are discriminated against because they are transgender. 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 EEOC is the federal agency that interprets and enforces federal employment discrimination law, and today’s decision marks the first time it has offered clear guidance on this issue.

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.

In response to the EEOC’s decision, Ms. Macy stated, “As a veteran and a police officer, I’ve worked my whole career to uphold the values of fairness and equality. 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.”

The decision today follows a clear trend by federal courts in recent years holding that transgender people are protected by Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination. But it has even broader implications than a court decision, because the EEOC is the agency charged with interpreting and enforcing federal discrimination laws throughout the nation. The EEOC’s decision will impact every employer, public and private, throughout the nation. The decision is entitled to significant deference by the courts, and will be binding on all federal agencies.

Transgender Law Center’s Legal Director Ilona Turner explained, “It’s incredibly significant that the Commission has finally put its stamp of approval on the common-sense understanding that discrimination against transgender people is a form of sex discrimination. That’s true whether it’s understood as discrimination because of the person’s gender identity, or because they have changed their sex, or because they don’t conform to other people’s stereotypes of how men and women ought to be.”

Noreen Farrell, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates, a legal organization that has been fighting for women’s rights since 1974, also celebrated the ruling. She stated, “Today’s decision helps our discrimination laws fulfill their purpose of ensuring that no one loses a job based on sex. Women have fought for decades to be judged in the workplace by our abilities, not by our sex, gender identity, or gender stereotypes. We are thrilled that the EEOC has confirmed that Title VII protects transgender people from job discrimination, thanks to the work of Transgender Law Center.”

Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center’s Executive Director, added, “With so many barriers to gainful employment in our society, we can’t let discrimination be one of them. The EEOC’s decision ensures that every transgender person in the United States will have legal recourse when faced with employment discrimination. Having the protection of federal sex-discrimination law is especially critical for transgender people who live in the 34 states that lack transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. This is a game changer for transgender America.”

For more information or interview requests please contact Mark Snyder, Communications Manager, at 416.865.017 ext. 310, cell: 617.416.0552 or mark@transgenderlawcenter.org

http://transgenderlawcenter.org/cms/blogs/552-24

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  • claudia

    I and had all my life this problem in guatemala never gave me work in mexico I tried like crazy in the worst United States treat me as a whore and do not give me work if in my country having documents I didn't work here is never worse because I have no documents and if them had equal here try with papers from another person and not so I could work and take a course of guard and gave me them and the present in several companies of security the nomas and see me I said had not worked and that I anthropology in simons seguriti grabbed me and work one day in tempo club and the other day I present to work me threw and I submit to the Office and the senor told me that he had no more work for my because it was gey or fucking him denounce but the cops instead help me I wanted meter dam current mind pick up recycling in the streets of angeles los and with the little sack me I pay my room and to eat I'm going to get to the Centre of women from the center of angeles los do not want to return to my country because I wanted to kill both cops as civil people I don't want to die but I expect a few dies anos more I am alone in this country and I am poor not because I want to If not because the people will not let me work on anything

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406055245 Canaan

    Again, you make my point for me. You cite a statement where I am gvniig my opinion of what I prefer for my own sexualty, and my seem to take my explanation some blanket statement as to why it is wrong for others. I do not feel it is wrong for others again, I stated in my original post, all entitled to their sexual pursuits. (And some are more physically flexible than others.) You reject the hemmoroids anal sex connection. I just did a search on Google, and most of the resources that turn up do not reject this connection, nor do I. Not a doctor, I base my conclusion on the numbers of partners I have had with this problem (a good many young people). There are also sorts of reasons for hemorroids, it is clearly not easily explained in a cause and effect way can be genetic, for example. But stool consistency is frequently cited as a contributor so why would anything else going in and out of there not be? The literature also mention that anal fissures can frequently be mistaken for hemmorhoids fissures (or tears) develop from friction, and anal fissures, even very miniscule or microscopic ones, are very frequently cited as very likely opportunity for the Aids virus (in high concentration in semen) to enter the bloodstream.I don’t accept your history of Aids, simply because there are many points of view on the etiology. Yours is a new one on me, and I have heard hundreds. I can tell you that from a practical point of view, Aids emerged in NYC as a mysterious cancer that no one could explain the victims of the virus did not have the necessary info to protect themselves. (I don’t need a run-down on opportunitic infections and variety of same I am well aware.) Young people today do not have the excuse of lack of information (unless they were forcibly raped or incapable of understanding what they were doing to begin with. Young, uninformed people continue to have sex, so the whole subject is a touchy one.) I have worked in hospitals for many years with Aids patiends, so I feel that I have a pretty good grasp of the progression of the virus. Partly because there are some accepted (but expensive) treatments now, there is a complacency about sex and risk. But this is far beyond what I ever intended to post. Again, my comment was only that about the limited scope of Davey’s statements about one kind of sex. But then again, I would probably bristle at the notion that gay people should do anything at all. Gays are a diverse community of individuals that are pursuing many types of sex, relationships and goals. (As you may have guessed from my original post, I hated the clone look , for example, which was popular in New York if you are too young to remember, it was a fashion that we all should wear leather bomber jackets. Definite peer pressure to buy one of those things. Ugh.) We all should do nothing but lead positive and productive lives in my opinion. I’m sure Davey’s intent was much more light-hearted than the impression I’m leaving, but my response was merely that there is a wide range of sexuality out there, and there is.