Numerous studies have shown that transgender people face disproportionate amounts of discrimination in all areas of life, especially in employment and health care. As the American economy worsens, the discrimination faced by transgender people is becoming even more acute. Often forced into already unstable jobs and careers, and often facing compounding bias because of race or age, the economic well-being of transgender people is being challenged today like never before. The federal government has a responsibility to protect people from discrimination. Congress and the Administration can improve transgender lives in a significant way by advancing the anti-discrimination protections outlined here.

NCTE has identified the following federal policy areas that need to be changed:

  • ENDA. Congress should pass the comprehensive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that would protect workers based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Comprehensive Civil Rights. Congress should pass a comprehensive civil rights bill that protects people from discrimination based on gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation in regards to public accommodations, housing, credit, education, and federally-funded programs.
  • ADA Exemptions. In order to make federal law consistent with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Congress should alter or remove problematic language regarding transgender individuals in the Americans with Disabilities Act and related federal agency regulations.
  • Provision of Government Services. Each federal agency should issue a policy directive stating that it will ensure that individuals who receive services from that agency will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender identity or expression.
  • EEOC and Title VII Complaints. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should investigate and mediate Title VII complaints from transgender people based on sex discrimination in addition to issuing Right to Sue letters.
  • EEOC Freedom to Compete Initiative. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Freedom to Compete Initiative (FCI) should hold a forum to discuss employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
  • SBA Categorization. The Small Business Administration should include transgender people as eligible for the presumption of social and economic disadvantage with regard to the SBA Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. The U.S. Department of Transportation should update the Disadvantaged Business Entity regulations to comport with the SBA regulations.
  • Federal Housing. The President should issue an Executive Order amending Executive Order 11063 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in federally assisted housing programs.

Report an Incident of Discrimination

NCTE is tracking discrimination against trans people. If you have faced job discrimination, please send us an e-mail with your story.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

Ninety-one jurisdictions nationwide explicitly protect people based on gender identity/expression. This includes eight states. Five additional states and the District of Columbia protect transpeople against discrimination judicially or administratively. 37% of Americans live in an area which bans discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

For a list of all jurisdictions with laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and expression, please click here.


Learn More

To find out more about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, please click here

Take Action

Have you experienced discrimination? Tell us your story.


© 2011 National Center for Transgender Equality
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