deptlaborTransgender Law Center is pleased by yesterday’s announcement from the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) that it is updating its enforcement protocols and antidiscrimination guidance to reflect more comprehensively the outcome of Macy v. Holder, a 2012 case in which the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission clarified that federal law prohibits employment discrimination based upon gender identity. Ms. Macy was represented by Transgender Law Center.

In his June 30th post “Justice and identity” on the US Department of Labor’s blog, Jeremy Bishop, a Special Assistant to US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, stated that the changes were evidence of the Department’s continued commitment to equality for all. The announcement was timed to coincide with both the annual celebration of June as LGBT Pride month, as well as with the approaching 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which contains Title VII, the statutory provision prohibiting employment discrimination based upon race, sex, and other categories. The landmark Macy decision in 2012 clarified that discrimination because a person in transgender is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII.

The new guidance will affect DOL programs such as the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Civil Rights Center, and the Employment and Training Administration, all of which will issue guidance making clear that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex.  “This is a huge step forward for transgender workers” said Transgender Law Center Legal Director Ilona Turner. “We are thrilled by this announcement, and by the Obama administration’s continued commitment to equality. The protections for federal contractors are especially important, given the millions of Americans who work for federal contracting agencies.”

The DOL also announced that it will continue to examine its programs to identify additional opportunities to “extend the law’s full protection against discrimination to transgender workers.” You can read their blog post online here:  http://social.dol.gov/blog/justice-and-identity/