Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 49 / 7 December 2017
 

AG Holder announces end of DOJ transgender discrimination

Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today (Thursday, December 18) that the Department of Justice will stop discriminating against transgender people.

The DOJ will no longer claim that “Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex does not encompass gender identity per se (including transgender discrimination),” the national Human Rights Campaign said in a news release.

“This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” Holder said in a statement. “This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans.”

Holder’s decision “to fully embrace the legal standard set forth in Macy will go a long way towards advancing equality for the transgender community,” HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow stated. “Transgender people continue to face some of the highest levels of discrimination in the workplace. We are thrilled to see the Department of Justice take this important step.”

Warbelow’s comments refer to Macy v. Holder, the 2012 case in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined that discrimination based on someone’s gender identity is sex discrimination, which violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The employment commission filed federal complaints earlier this year in Florida and Michigan claiming that two companies had discriminated against transgender workers.

Ilona Turner, legal director for the Oakland-based Transgender Law Center, said in a statement, “We are thrilled to see this clear commitment from the Department of Justice on the issue of transgender rights. No longer will our government be arguing that transgender people are excluded from the protections of the law. This announcement will have far-reaching effects for transgender people both within the federal workforce and beyond, influencing the courts as well as other employers looking at their legal obligations under Title VII.”

She added, “Our communities remain disproportionately unemployed and living in poverty. Legal protections against discrimination can make a real difference.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, December 18, 2014 @ 2:25 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


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