A long-time reader sent me the link to this story today, and the writer Chris Geidner has always been an awesome source of valuable detail and information. I am posting it here for two reasons. First, it is just a really ground-breaking ruling that may have extensive effects for all trans persons when it comes to discrimination. Secondly, I post it in cooperation with all of the posts surrounding the University of Pittsburgh news about developing a trans policy.
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.
I urge Pitt to get to work quickly on a thorough, fair, and comprehensive policy. While efforts are progressing, it is far from fast enough. The Pitt situation is also complex. As a university, it has students, staff and faculty all to be considered. This ruling seems to apply directly to employment discrimination, but it could have other ramifications as well. The time for action at Pitt is now. As Equality PA urged in their press release last week:
Today we publicly call on the Administration of the University, the University Senate, the Staff Association Council, students, staff and faculty to work with each other as well as the transgender community to create a comprehensive transgender policy consistent with the school’s stated non-discrimination policy.
via Transgender Breakthrough: EEOC ruling that gender-identity discrimination is covered by Title VII is a ”sea change” that opens the doors to employment protection for transgender Americans: News section: Metro Weekly.