The Thinking 

“Transgendered” May Sue for Job Discrimination

April 25, 2012


THE Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that a “transgendered” person who claims to be discriminated against by an employer can seek compensation for sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Jesse McKinley of The New York Times reports:

In a decision hailed by advocates for transgender people, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that a California woman who was denied a job at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after revealing that she was transitioning from her former life as a man can seek legal redress under sex-discrimination regulations.

This is profoundly hypocritical. It makes no sense. The “transgendered” person says sexual identity is real and means everything. And then he seeks government help in maintaining that sexual identity means nothing. The Times continues:

In her complaint, Mia Macy, 39, said she had been promised a job in a bureau crime laboratory in Walnut Creek, Calif., in early 2011. At the time, Ms. Macy, a military veteran and a former police detective, was living as a man.

Later that year, she told officials at the bureau that she was intending to legally live as a woman, and shortly after was told that the position was no longer available, she said.

Ms. Macy filed a complaint in June with the bureau, which responded that a gender-identity claim was covered by Justice Department procedures rather than E.E.O.C. jurisdiction, as sex discrimination is. In a decision reached on Friday and made public Tuesday, however, she found a sympathetic audience in the commission. It said that “intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender” is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination.

Such a determination, Ms. Macy’s lawyers said, could pave the way for federal employees to sue if they believe they have been discriminated against because of their gender identity.

“This is the law now,” said Ilona Turner, the legal director for the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco, which filed the complaint on Ms. Macy’s behalf.


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