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?

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  • cam

    WE just need to pass a law that says nobody can be fired or hired based on anythign other than their work and behavior towards other co workers around the office.

  • Belize

    samo: I’m for trans rights. I just think they should have the right to

    1. choose what to wear
    2. choose how to act
    3. choose what shows to watch (GLEE FUCKING SUCKS!)
    4. feel like they are women when they were born with dicks
    5. have surgeries that would remove their dicks
    6. make their presence known in the media because they ruin the image of macho gay men like me.
    7. contest my belief that women are inferior to men because men don’t gossip behind each other’s backs even though gay MEN do it all the time.
    8. and pretty much every single right we “normal” gay men have because we’re so macho and we smell like we’re allergic to this new age invention called soap.

  • Hyhybt

    @cam: Alter that second part to allow for the fact that not all jobs are in an office environment, and you’ve got something there :)

  • cam



  • Dave

    ENDA needs to be passed now. I’m glad this was passed for all of the Trans people who bitched and moaned and were jealous and angry that ENDA included protection for bisexuals of both genders, gay men, and lesbians and we as LGB people had been working on passing it for decades and Trans people came in and messed it all up saying how there was and never would be any employment protection for them.

  • LandStander

    So wait, ENDA was having difficulty getting passed (presumably) because of adding Transgender people to it, but now something passed that gave Trans people protection, but not LGB people?? So we can take Trans language out of ENDA and get it passed since Trans people have protections now? Why are we not included in this new case? Aren’t LGB people being discriminated against technically based on gender (and that of their lovers) too?

  • Winter Tashlin

    @LandStander: Um, LGB people employed by the federal government were already protected.

  • Hyhybt

    @LandStander: It’s not something passed, but a court ruling issued. There’s a difference.

    ENDA has no chance, whether trans inclusive or not, with the current House.

    @Winter Tashlin: Title VII affects nearly all employers, not just the government. (And more strongly than ENDA would. What we need is not a separate law, but to be added to this one.)

  • R.A.

    @Hyhybt: Yep. We had our chance and we blew it.

  • Vin

    Good for them, but who cares? Trans is not gay and gay is not trans. We should stop pretending that they are linked.

    LGBT is a nonsensical lie that was contrived by a small group of political ideologues, and it causes great harm to both groups. Queerty, it makes as much sense for you to post trans stories on this blog as it does for you to post news stories about Burmese agriculture.

  • Melanie

    @Vin, who cares?! I’ll tell you who cares, trans people and their families. My wife is transgender and thanks to this ruling she doesn’t have to be afriad that she’ll get fired because of the way she is. It is just as wrong as firing a someone because their gay. I can’t believe that more people from the LGB community can’t be more supportive about this. This is a huge step into getting rights for all people. It hurts when I group of people that don’t want to be discriminated against find it so easy to discriminate against others. It sickens me to my core.

  • Maria

    Seriously, some of you make me ashamed. Perhaps you should remember the immortal words of MLK, who said “None of us are equal until we are all equal.” The fact that your so willing to throw another group under the bus is the reason (or at least one of them) why we’re not taking seriously by the government and general population, and a stong deciding factor in why we still don’t have our rights. Is gay the same as trans? No. But some trans people are gay, and some gay people are trans. And guess what? We’re all queer! So I suggest you put on your big boy/girl panties and treat trans people with the same modicum of respect that you’re asking to receive. Thank you Melanie for what you said about me. I love you honey.

  • Mia Macy


  • Mia Macy

    @Melanie: and that was my dream thank you and your wife

  • Melanie

    @Mia Macy: Thank YOU! Now Maria can keep her job and our home. :D <3

  • Elloreigh

    ENDA won’t even come up for a vote, much less pass if Obama wins a second term (which is looking doubtful).

Comments are closed.