Monday, April 25, 2011
Protection for transgender employees slowly increasing
Although it does not seem to be receiving much attention, legislatures, courts, and politicians are increasingly providing protection for transgender employees against discrimination to the same extent as for other protected groups. In February, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick issued two Executive Orders that banned discrimination against transgender employees in state government. A few years ago, a transgender job applicant at the Library of Congress won a federal discrimination lawsuit when her job offer was rescinded after the Library discovered she was transgender. Recently, Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass) re-introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would provide protection to employees and job applicants against discrimination on the basis of sexual preference and gender identity. This is the ninth time that Frank has introduced this bill, so its introduction is not significant in itself. This time around, however, the ACLU and prominent business associations have expressed support for the bill.