Federal agency says transgender people protected
WASHINGTON -- The agency that enforces the federal job discrimination laws has for the first time ruled that transgender people are protected from bias in the workplace.
Experts say the decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sets a new national enforcement standard that offers employers clear guidance on the issue.
The case involved a California woman who claims she was denied a contractor job with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after the contractor learned she had undergone a procedure to change her gender from male to female.
An EEOC spokeswoman says the ruling does not create a new cause of action. It clarifies that a refusal to hire or otherwise discriminate on the basis of gender identity is by definition sex discrimination under federal law.