Win for Civilian Army Worker: Agency Says Restroom Restriction, Mis-Gendering Was Discrimination
NCTE applauds the Transgender Law Center and Tamara Lusardi in obtaining a decision from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) found that the Department of the Army engaged in unlawful discrimination of Ms. Tamara Lusardi and ordered corrective action on her behalf. Ms. Tamara Lusardi is a disabled veteran who transitioned in 2010. She works at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) as a Software Quality Assurance Specialist. After Ms. Lusardi transitioned on the job, her supervisor would purposely mis-gender her and would repeatedly refer to her as “sir” and “he.” Furthermore Ms. Lusardi was asked to agree that she could only use a single-use restroom and not use the same restrooms as other female employees. U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) found that the mis-gendering by her supervisor and the restrictions put on
Ms. Lusardi constituted unlawful discrimination based on a factor unrelated to job performance, in violation of federal civil service law. OSC said that these action likely also violated Title VII, the law against sex discrimination in the workplace. The Department of the Army has agreed to provide LGBT sensitivity training to employees and supervisors at the AMRDEC facility. Today’s action by OSC is one more milestone showing that not only that transgender workers have recourse against discrimination, but that recourse extends to practices that deny an employee’s gender identity and make it impossible to come to work as who they are.
NCTE is currently working with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Labor, and other agencies to strengthen workplace protections for trans people. Federal employees, and anyone else facing discrimination at work, should consult NCTE’s "Transgender Federal Workers: Your Workplace Rights" resource to find out how to file a complaint and get legal help.