John M. Becker

Labor Department Vows to Enforce Trans Protections

Filed By John M. Becker | August 20, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: anti-trans discrimination, Barack Obama, Department of Labor, employment protections, Labor Department, Mia Macy, non-discrimination laws, Obama administration, Patricia Shiu

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Yesterday, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance announcing that federal contractors and subcontractors cannot discriminate in employment on the basis of gender identity and transgender status.

The announcement follows Labor Secretary Tom Perez's clarification last month that anti-trans discrimination is sex discrimination, and therefore illegal. It also comes on the heels of President Barack Obama's historic executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors and subcontractors from workplace discrimination.

Patricia A. Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, writes that the federal government holds contracts with approximately 200,000 businesses providing essentials like food, clothing, energy, transportation, medical treatment, and other services across America.

"So what does this mean?" she writes.

"It means honoring our commitment to upholding equality in America's workforce. Being entrusted with taxpayer dollars is a privilege, and with that privilege comes a promise to open doors to all of America's workers. I believe that success for OFCCP and for federal contractors isn't simply about compliance. It's about creating a workplace culture that actively embraces diversity."

Laura Durso, director of the Center for American Progress's LGBT Research and Communications Project, reminded us in an interview with BuzzFeed that one particular transgender worker deserves a great deal of credit for making yesterday's news possible:

"Today's development would not have been possible without the courageous efforts of Mia Macy, who sought to remedy injustice after she was denied a job because she is transgender. ?The full implementation of the Macy decision, along with President Obama's recent executive orders, is the next major step in ensuring that LGBT workers have basic employment protections that they both need and deserve."

But Macy told CAP's Zack Ford that the victory is not hers alone, "it's the world's."

Watch CAP's video profile of Mia Macy, after the break.

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