Labor Department Updates its Guidelines on Gender Identity
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its policies on gender identity recently, clarifying that transgender federal employees and applicants in the DOL have protections against discrimination. These additional policies build off of a previous policy signed by the Secretary of Labor on April 28, 2011 “making clear that the Department will not tolerate discrimination against, or harassment of, DOL employees or applicants for employment based on their gender identity.”
The amended policies:
- classify discrimination and harassment based on gender identity as a form of sex-based discrimination and harassment;
- are consistent with the policies of other Federal agencies, such as the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Department of Justice (DOJ); and
- reaffirm the Department’s commitment to fair treatment of and equal opportunity for all its employees and applicants.
The new policy recognizes that transgender employees have the right to:
- be be referred by their proper names and pronouns;
- have their privacy and confidentiality respected;
- proper restroom access;
- changing of identity documents within the department; and
- take sick leave for transition related treatment
The new policies a outlines instructs supervisors to not allow employees to engage in gossip or rumor spreading and prohibits supervisors from improperly questioning transgender employees about their personal or medical situations.
These updated guidelines is a major step in the right direction in addressing transgender inequality and harassment. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor Civil Rights Center’s DOL Policies on Gender Identity: Rights and Responsibilities.