April 29, 2011
U.S. Department of Labor Moves to Protect Transgender Employees From Discrimination
Updated Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Bars Discrimination Based on Gender Identity
New York, New York – The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) applauds the United States Department of Labor’s announcement yesterday that it has taken steps to protect its transgender workers from employment discrimination. The Department of Labor added gender identity as a protected category in its equal employment opportunity statement. The policy applies to all hiring, promotion and disciplinary practices for the approximately 17,000 employees of the Department of Labor.
“Whether in private or public employment, what matters is not who you are, but how you do your job,” said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman. “The Department of Labor now joins the many public and private employers that have recognized that discrimination is bad business. We applaud Labor Secretary Hilda Solis for her leadership on this issue.”
Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace. In a recent survey, 47% of transgender people reported being fired, or denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are. In a recent case, TLDEF filed a lawsuit on behalf of a transgender man who was fired from a male-only job solely because he is transgender.
“Employers like the Department of Labor set an example for other employers to follow. It is a great day when diversity is embraced and discrimination is rejected in the workplace,” added Silverman.