In a move to help stop workplace discrimination against transgender people, the Social Security Administration has stopped issuing "gender no-match" letters to employers, which alert them when the gender marker on an employee's W-2 does not match his or her Social Security records.
White House spokesman Shin Inouye told Metro Weekly that the "White House welcomes this move by the Social Security Administration."
In 2010 alone, 711,488 letters were sent to employers, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, which filed for a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the numbers on gender no-match notifications.
Mara Keisling, NCTE's executive director, hailed the announcement, because alerting transphobic employers of their workers' transgender status may put their jobs in jeopardy. This is especially crucial since there is no federal law banning discrimination against LGBT workers, and very few states have antidiscrimination laws covering LGBT workers.
"Ending this practice, which has endangered transgender people and our jobs, has been a priority for NCTE and we are pleased that the SSA has updated its policy," Keisling said in a statement obtained by Metro Weekly.
Keisling said another protection needed for transgender people would be for the Social Security Administration to drop its requirement for proof that a person has had gender-reassignment surgery before it will change the gender markers on his or her files, according to the Washington Blade. There has been little indication, however, that such a policy change will happen in the near future.