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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

DOJ Says Transgender Discrimination Covered Under Title VII

December 18, 2014 - Posted by Patrick McNeil

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Thursday that discrimination against transgender people will be protected moving forward by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act’s sex discrimination prohibition.

Saying that “The federal government’s approach to this issue has evolved over time,” the U.S. Department of Justice’s new position represents a reversal of its previous stance.

In a memo to U.S. attorneys and heads of department components, Holder wrote, “After considering the text of Title VII, the relevant Supreme Court case law interpreting the statute, and the developing jurisprudence in this area, I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status.”

Other recent developments in the labor arena include Department of Labor guidance in August that classifies transgender discrimination as sex discrimination, a June executive order that bans federal contractors from unfairly treating transgender federal employees and LGBT employees of federal contractors, and an EEOC ruling in 2012 that said transgender discrimination is sex discrimination.

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