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Labor Department Clarifies Stance on Trans Protections

Labor Department Clarifies Stance on Trans Protections


Secretary of Labor Tom Perez finally clarified that the department's transgender employees will receive nondiscrimination protections.

Late yesterday, Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez announced in a blog post that the department has extended nondiscrimination protections to its transgender employees, in accordance with federal nondiscrimination laws enforced throughout the department for other employees.

Monday's announcement comes more than two years after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ruling declaring that discrimination on the basis of gender identity falls under the category of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"As we celebrate Pride Month and approach the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Labor Department is reaffirming its commitment to equal opportunity for all," reads Perez's blog post. "That's why we are updating enforcement protocols and anti-discrimination guidance to clarify that we provide the full protection of the federal non-discrimination laws that we enforce to transgender individuals."

Perez goes on to clarify that these changes are merely a reaffirmation based on current case law, specifically citing Macy v. Holder, the 2012 case that led the EEOC to reach its trans-inclusive Title VII conclusion.

This move by the Labor Department came the same day President Obama announced his intent to issue an executive order to provide employment protections on the basis of gender identity to all of the nearly 3 million federal employees.

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