The U.S. Department of Energy has joined the list of federal agencies who have updated their EEO policies to expressly state that employment discrimination and harassment against federal employees and job applicants based upon gender identity is prohibited. The updated policy follows a 2009 directive from President Obama to the heads of all Executive Departments and Agencies instructing the Office of Personnel Management to issue guidance related to preventing discrimination based upon “factors not related to job performance” among federal workers and job applicants.
Since that time, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Interior, Labor, State, Veterans Affairs, and several other agencies have updated their EEO policies to make clear that discrimination based upon transgender status constitutes sex discrimination. In 2012, in Macy v. Holder, a case brought by Transgender Law Center, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held that Title VII, the federal employment nondiscrimination law, prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and expression as part of its prohibition of discrimination based on sex.