NCTE congratulates our colleagues at the Transgender Law Center, who announced a federal workplace rights victory. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled in a 5-0 decision. An employer who discriminates against a transgender employee or job applicant because of the person’s gender identity is illegal sex discrimination based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Though this ruling follows a growing number of court decisions around the country that have held that transgender people are protected by existing federal anti-discrimination laws, this is the first decision by the EEOC on this issue.
NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “This ruling is a major advancement in transgender rights that will provide a significant tool to fight discrimination. It will also help us advocate for still needed protections like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the federal contractors executive order.”
The EEOC is the federal agency charged with interpreting and enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws, and this is the first time it has ruled that anti-transgender discrimination is sex discrimination. The decision applies to both public and private employers throughout the country including in the 34 states that do not yet have gender identity anti-discrimination laws.