This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Reston Town Center that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters. They write biweekly on RestonNow.
In the past, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had often sought to dismiss gender identity and transgender discrimination cases since it asserted that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition of discrimination based on sex did not include gender identity. However, on December 15, 2014, the DOJ issued a memorandum regarding a new policy on the treatment of transgender workplace discrimination claims.
The new policy means that the DOJ will now include gender identity, including transgender discrimination, in the prohibition of sex discrimination in the workplace. In defending lawsuits, according to the memorandum, the federal government has also evolved and will no longer take the legal position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect against workplace discrimination on the basis of gender status.
The DOJ’s new policy follow on the heels of a revised Executive Order issued by the President in July 2014 which provides protection for gay and transgender individuals who are employed by the federal government and government contractors.
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