On Tuesday, August 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor issued
a directive to "clarify that existing
agency guidance on discrimination on the basis of sex . . .
includes discrimination on the bases of gender identity and
transgender status." This directive follows President
Obama's Executive Order 13672, issued on July 21,
2014, amending existing orders to specifically prohibit federal
contractors from discriminating based on gender identity.
Tuesday's directive specifically applies to federal
contractors and subcontractors, but is also part of the
Department's broader focus on cracking down on gender
identity-based discrimination. On June 30, 2014, the
DOL's Secretary announced that:
"DOL is updating its enforcement protocols and
nondiscrimination guidance to clarify that DOL provides the full
protection of the federal nondiscrimination laws that it enforces
to individuals on the bases of gender identity and transgender
The directive also cites as support the EEOC's decision in
Macy v. Holder, 2012 WL 1435995, in which
the EEOC unanimously concluded that discrimination because a person
is transgender is sex discrimination in violation of Title
VII. In Macy, the EEOC determined that
discrimination against a transgender employee can be a form of
"sex stereotyping." Specifically, "disparate
treatment of a transgender employee because he or she does not
conform to the gender stereotypes associated with his or her
biological sex is a form of sex discrimination" because it is
"related to the sex of the victim." Moreover, the
EEOC found that transgender discrimination constitutes sex
discrimination "regardless of whether the discrimination was
motivated by sex stereotyping or by some other reason related to
the employee's gender identity, such as discomfort with the
idea of a transition."
Tuesday's directive is part of a continuing trend by the
Obama Administration to expand Title VII's protections to LGBT
employees. These actions make clear that, moving forward, the
DOL and the EEOC will construe discrimination based on
"sex" under Title VII broadly enough to encompass
discrimination based on gender identity and transgender status.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The effects of the California Supreme Court's latest interpretation to provide seating to workers are beginning to show, as the United States District Court for the Central District of California recently approved a $700,000 settlement ...
Given the issues workplace texting presents for employers, employers would be wise to make clear in their policies what method of communication employees may use in the workplace for business purposes.
With an estimated U.S. divorce rate in the 40% to 50% range, your retirement plan is likely to receive an order from a court directing the plan to split a participant's benefits, also known as a domestic relations order.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).