Dept. of Labor Affirms Trans Discrimination Protections
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) welcomes policy clarifications by the Department of Labor in their ongoing effort to end anti-transgender bias and discrimination in their programs. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez announced forthcoming clarification to their nondiscrimination protections declaring that anti-transgender discrimination violates Title VII sex discrimination law and is illegal. Labor Secretary Tom Perez said, "These changes reflect current law. In Macy v. Holder, for example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded that discrimination because a person is transgender is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Civil Rights Center, along with the Employment and Training Administration, will issue guidance to make clear that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex. " In a statement to the Washington Blade, NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "With the impending signing of the President's two gender identity executive orders, we are very pleased that Secretary Perez agrees with us on the need to publicly clarify the law that the Department enforces."
Keisling added, "It is a positive development that the Employment and Training Administration is participating in the insurance of guidance. We trust that they will address the barriers trans people currently face in federally-funded jobs programs." NCTE has been advocating and meeting with Department of Labor officials since the beginning of the Obama Administration. Two important programs that Labor oversees are 1) Job Corps, which is a free educational and training program for young people, and 2) One-Stop Career Centers, which are run by state and local governments but funded, in part, by Labor. Last year, NCTE trained Job Corps centers throughout the US on how to integrate transgender young people into Job Corps with respect and non-discrimination. This year, NCTE trained many One-Stop Career Center staff on how to serve transgender job-seekers. NCTE has been pressing Labor to put out clear, binding guidance on these programs and is hopeful that this recent announcement means that this type of non-discrimination guidance is soon forthcoming.