According to a recent ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), transgendered individuals have the right to sue for gender discrimination. The ruling clears up the somewhat fuzzy position of the federal government toward such cases. An email quote from EEOC spokeswomen Christine Nazer said that the new ruling is “the EEOC’s position, and we will apply it in all our enforcement activities.”
The ruling came in response to a discrimination claim filed by a transgendered woman, Mia Macy, who was accepted for a job at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. When Macy originally applied for the position she was identified as a man and transitioned to a woman during the application process. Upon running a pre-employment background check, ATF officials discovered the transition.
Meanwhile, Macy and her wife relocated from out-of-state only to be told that the job for which she had been accepted had been eliminated due to budget cuts. Later on, Macy uncovered that her job had actually been filled by another applicant. Initially, the EEOC denied the discrimination claim brought forth by Macy. The original ruling stated that transgendered people have no right to complaint under EEOC rules. However, upon further consideration, the agency decided that the case could move forward, setting a precedent for future transgendered discrimination claims.
“There has been confusion because this is an area of law that has evolved over time,” said Jennifer Pizer, legal director of the Williams Institute, “There is now a national understanding from this administration that this protection exists.”