OfficeOfHumanRights_206x155In the first government-run test measuring employment discrimination against transgender people, the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights confirmed what so many transgender people already know too well: our communities face high rates of discrimination in applying to jobs.

“Our testing project revealed what appears to be a high rate of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people, and it must translate into a call-to-action for policymakers, advocates and the entire nation,” said Mónica Palacio, Director of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights. “We are proud to be the first government agency in the nation to conduct discrimination testing of job applicants focused on gender identity, and we hope other enforcement agencies will conduct further testing so we can better understand the injustices transgender and gender non-conforming people face when seeking employment.”


Transgender Law Center client Victoria Ramirez, who is suing Barnes & Noble after she was fired “simply for being [herself]”

Researchers sent four test resumes to employers across D.C.: two from lesser-qualified applicants, and two from more-qualified transgender applicants, whose resumes included references to having worked under a different legal name or involvement in advocacy related to the transgender community. The study, called “Qualified and Transgender: A Report on Results of Resume Testing for Employment Discrimination Based on Gender Identity,” found that almost half of employers appeared to favor one of the less-qualified applicants over a more-qualified person they perceived as transgender.

Transgender Law Center has handled several cases involving employment discrimination, including that of current client Victoria Ramirez, as well as groundbreaking victories in the cases of Mia Macy and Tamara Lusardi. This study provides important research backing up our individual experiences and stories as we advocate for change.

You can read the full details of the report here. If you are experiencing employment discrimination, check out our guide to filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or reach out to us for more legal information through our helpline.