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EEOC says transgender people are protected in California, US

The federal government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set the national standard for transgender hiring late last week. The agency said that transgender people are protected from discrimination. This workplace discrimination case came out of California, after a transgender woman applied and was hired for a contractor job with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as a man. She later told the company that she was going to change her gender from a man to a woman. The job was them cut, but later she found out another person was hired for the position.

This ruling by the EEOC will help clarify the existing laws to prevent future confusion by regional agency offices. Not only will it help clarify the law to these regional agencies, but it will hopefully send a clear message to employers that they cannot discriminate against someone because of their gender identity.

It is important that all employees feel comfortable in their workplace, and gender discrimination can cause a person to feel isolated. All people, no matter their background, should have an opportunity to work in a place free of harassment and discrimination, so they can make positive contributions.

Sometimes employers don't understand the laws and choose not to hire someone because of their cultural or social background, not based on their job qualifications. Many of these types of workplace discrimination are illegal in California and the United States. This decision by the EEOC will hopefully further clarify any questions as to who is protected.

Source: The Washington Post, "Commission: Transgender people protected under federal job discrimination laws," April 24, 2012

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