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Labor Dept. Extends 'Full Protection of the Federal Non-Discrimination Laws' to Transgendered

1:26 PM, Jun 30, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
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Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez has taken the occasion of the final day of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, as proclaimed by President Obama, to clarify that his department provides the "full protection of the federal non-discrimination laws that we enforce to transgender individuals." Perez cites a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruling in 2012 that found that the protections secured under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to transgender individuals. Perez continues [emphasis added]:

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Civil Rights Center, along with the Employment and Training Administration, will issue guidance to make clear that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex.  While the department has long protected employees from sex-based discrimination, its guidance to workers and employers will explicitly clarify that this includes workers who identify as transgender. The department will continue to examine its programs to identify additional opportunities to extend the law’s full protection against discrimination to transgender workers.

Perez writes that to have the strongest workforce and economy, the country must "embrace diversity to its fullest."  The Labor Department joins, among others, the State Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the celebration of LGBT Pride month. This year's celebrations have reflected a special emphasis on "transgender rights" by the Obama administration.

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