Big News For Transgender Community: Trans Employees Now Protected Federally

In what Metro Weekly calls a “sea change,” the federal government has issued an opinion that bolsters protections for transgender individuals. It comes after a case where a transgender woman sued the federal government for not hiring her after they learned of her transition.

Metro‘s Chris Geidner broke the news:

An employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person’s gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to an opinion issued on April 20 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The opinion, experts say, could dramatically alter the legal landscape for transgender workers across the nation.

The opinion came in a decision delivered on Monday, April 23, to lawyers for Mia Macy, a transgender woman who claims she was denied employment with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after the agency learned of her transition. It also comes on the heels of a growing number of federal appellate and trial courts deciding that gender-identity discrimination constitutes sex discrimination, whether based on Title VII or the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

Clearly, this is a landmark decision and one that deserves to be savored, but we’re already wondering: What’s next for transgender rights in the workplace? Do you guys think the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will pass if Obama wins a second term?