A Federal Government Policy that Protected Transgender Workers from Discrimination is now Reversed.
October 20, 2017
A federal government policy, under a 1964 civil rights law, interpreted that transgender workers were protected from discrimination has been reversed by Jeff Sessions, US Attorney General. Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination includes discrimination between men and women, but does not include discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status.
Sessions stated that, “although federal law, including Title VII, provides various protections to transgender individuals, Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se. This is a conclusion of law, not policy. As a law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice must interpret Title VII as written by Congress.”
However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that sex discrimination does include discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotyping and that Title VII does ban anti-transgender discrimination as well.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department explained that the Department of Justice cannot expand the law beyond what Congress has provided. The Department of Justice will remain committed to protecting the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals, and will continue to enforce the laws that Congress has enacted that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
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