U.S Department of Labor Adds Transgender Workers As A Protected Category

The United States Department of Labor has now  added gender identity to its class of employment protections!

Via White House Press Release:

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced its full commitment to implementing equal employment opportunity policies for all department employees and applicants. The policies ensure equal protections for all employees and applicants regardless of race; color; religion; national origin; sex, including pregnancy and gender identity; age; disability, whether physical or mental; genetic information; status as a parent; sexual orientation; or other non-merit factor. New, robust statements signed by Secretary Solis include updated policies on prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity and pregnancy. Secretary Solis strongly supports fair equal employment opportunity policies, and creating diversity and fairness in the workplace. “I am expressing my personal commitment to ensure that the U.S. Department of Labor is a model workplace, free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, which fosters a work environment that fully utilizes the capabilities of every employee,” said Secretary Solis. “It is my goal that we achieve and maintain a high-quality, diverse workforce at all organizational levels throughout the department.”

Transgender Legal Defense Fund (TLDEF) Executive Director Michael Silverman:

“Whether in private or public employment, what matters is not who you are, but how you do your job, the Department of Labor now joins the many public and private employers that have recognized that discrimination is bad business. We applaud Labor Secretary Hilda Solis for her leadership on this issue.”

Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace. In a recent survey, 47% of transgender people reported being fired, or denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are. In a recent case, TLDEF filed a lawsuit on behalf of a transgender man who was fired from a male-only job solely because he is transgender.

Employers like the Department of Labor set an example for other employers to follow. It is a great day when diversity is embraced and discrimination is rejected in the workplace,” added Silverman.”

Bit by bit.  Step by step we are getting closer.  But we need sweeping changes and all encompassing protections for the LGBT Community/.

While I applaud the Department of Labor.  The United States Government needs to update the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and 1991 to include the LGBT Community.

Nothing less will do.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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