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January 7, 2010

Obama administration adds gender identity protection for federal workers

Beginning in 2010, the Obama administration, through the Office of Personnel Management, has started to list gender identity among the classes protected by federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies, according to the ACLU:

Although a long-standing federal law prohibits any federal employment decisions that are not based on merit and another law prohibits sex discrimination, the new EEO policy marks the first time that gender identity discrimination has been explicitly banned from the federal workplace. The policy is now on the federal government’s jobs Web site as a link from more than 20,000 current federal job listings. The American Civil Liberties Union praised the Obama administration for initiating the change in EEO policy and urged Congress to continue to work for further protections for LGBT Americans.
“This new policy is a very significant development,” said Christopher Anders, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel. “The inclusion of gender identity in federal EEO policies is a very clear statement that the federal government will not discriminate based on gender identity. The Obama administration is demonstrating a strong commitment to an effective workforce by making clear that the federal government will not discriminate against transgender employees.”

The new EEO policy protects federal employees and applicants for federal employment, but federal legislation is still needed to protect millions of LGBT employees working for businesses and state and local governments. The House and Senate currently have versions of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) pending. ENDA, if passed, would be the first-ever federal ban on employment discrimination of LBGT Americans in the workplace.


January 7, 2010 | Permalink


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