Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that it is position
of the Justice Department that unlawful sex discrimination includes sex
discrimination based on gender identity.
In a memo issued on December 15, Holder wrote that it is his belief that
the “best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination
is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including
transgender status.” This statement reverses the previous position
of the Justice Department, which did not include discrimination against
transgender people in its definition of sex discrimination. Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination “because of”
an employee’s sex. This means that your employer may not take an
adverse action against you because of your sex. In other words, your sex
cannot play a role in any aspect of your employment, including hiring,
transfers, promotions, pay, disciplinary action, suspensions, and discharges.
Further, although sex discrimination laws were originally enacted to protect
women, they have also been extended to cover discrimination against men.
Now, such important protections have been broadened to include an individual’s
psychological identification as a man, woman or some other gender, which
may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth.
Holder noted, “This important shift will ensure that the protections
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination
based on gender identity, including transgender status… This will
help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it
reaffirms the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the
civil rights of all Americans.”
For more information, or if you believe that you have suffered any form
of sex discrimination, please contact the dedicated
Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley & Klein, LLP for an immediate