Dept. Of Labor: “discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex”

Pride flag

In case you needed some clarification, transgender discrimination is illegal. According to the Department of Labor,  it is considered discrimination based on sex and violates Title VII. The Dept. of Labor is the latest federal agency to clarify their policy on anti-trans discrimination:

“Labor Secretary Tom Perez said, ‘These changes reflect current law. In Macy v. Holder, for example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded that discrimination because a person is transgender is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Civil Rights Center, along with the Employment and Training Administration, will issue guidance to make clear that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex. ‘”

This is an important step in fighting trans-discrimination in the workplace. This clarification brings Labor in line with the Equal Opportunity Commissions’s 2012 ruling that anti-trans discrimination violates the Civil Rights Act. And it follows President Obama’s announcement that he will sign two executive orders addressing trans employment discrimination: one barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and one protecting federal employees from gender identity discrimination (they’re already protected from sexual orientation discrimination).

You can read Secretary Perez’s full statement here.

Avatar Image Sesali is a columnist at

Feministing's resident "sexpert", Sesali is a published writer and professional shit talker. She is a queer Black girl, fat girl, and trainer. She was the former Training Director at the United States Student Association and later a member of the Youth Organizing team at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She received her bachelors in Women's and Gender Studies from Depaul University in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master's in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. A self identified "trap" feminist, and trained with a reproductive justice background, her interests include the intersections of feminism and: pop culture, youth culture, social media, hip hop, girlhood, sexuality, race, gender, and Beyonce. Sesali joined the team in 2010 as one of the winners of our So You Think You Can Blog contest.

is Feministing's resident sexpert and cynic.

Read more about Sesali

Join the Conversation