Do discrimination laws protect transgender employees?

If you are a Missouri resident and someone who identifies as transgender, you may have concerns about the president’s recent statements about transgendered people in the military and how they might affect other aspects of your life. Discrimination of transgender people in the workplace is a very real problem across the United States, and the lack of a clear federal ruling on the matter tends to further complicate matters.

According to MarketWatch, there are no federal laws that specifically protect America’s transgendered employees, although 20 states have already enacted their own. Historically, federal courts have considered some instances of bias against transgendered people sex discrimination, which would mean that the protections detailed in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would protect transgender victims of workplace discrimination.

The lack of clear guidelines covering employees like you is a likely contributor to the disproportionate number of transgendered Americans who live in poverty or do not have jobs. Transgender people are twice as likely as the rest of the population to find themselves in such situations, and statistics show that one in every four transgender workers has lost a job because of how they identify.

So, what recourse might you have as a transgender victim of workplace discrimination? The director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality says that you should file an equal employment opportunity complaint at the local, state or federal level, and that you may also want to, if financially feasible, secure legal assistance. The director also urges employers to adopt inclusive policies to minimize potential associated problems.

This information about transgender workplace protections is informative, but it should not replace legal guidance.

 

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