Title VII prohibits sex discrimination and last year the EEOC had a ruling that said that discrimination based on gender identity of expression is a form of sex discrimination. I just came across this article that is about what employers should do to avoid discrimination suits but is also important for us to know…
Transgender discrimination under Title VIIEven though this is for the employer the employee should their rights also and notice that this applies to gender expression as well as gender identity.
By Katie Loehrke
Published: June 30, 2013
What employers should know
When an employer discriminates against someone because the person is transgender, the employer has discriminated based on sex, according to the EEOC. This is true regardless of whether an employer:
- Discriminates against an employee or applicant because the person has expressed his or her gender in a non-stereotypical fashion (for example, discrimination based on the fact that a woman sports short hair, forgoes makeup, or wears "masculine" clothing).
- Is uncomfortable with the fact that the person has transitioned or is in the process of transitioning from one gender to another.
- Simply does not like that the person is identifying as a transgender person.
The EEOC did not address customer preference for non-transgender individuals, but it is likely that the commission would be opposed to such a defense. In its decision, the EEOC likens transgender discrimination to certain forms of religious discrimination. Current EEOC guidance states that it is discriminatory to take customer preference based on religion (including religious garb and grooming practices) into consideration when making employment decisions.