Employment Protection for Transgenders

The Employment Non -Discrimination Act (ENDA) has been proposed in congress to focus on gender identity discrimination in the private as well as public sector. While the Americans with Disabilities Act within the US explicitly exclude transgender people, many advocates have been able to successfully win cases on behalf of their transgender clients.

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Do Transgender Employees Have Any Employment Protection?

Over the last decade and a half, federal appellate courts have begun to recognize the need to prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals as a form of sex discrimination at work. Karen DeSoto, a human rights activist, recalls the historic decision in 2012 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) for the Macy V. Holder case which was deemed a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

This decision proves to be binding on the federal government and highlights that that transgender employees do have protection under the aforementioned title.

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Furthermore, the title also supports public as well as private employees all over the country who feel that they have been discriminated against in a workplace environment. Transgender individuals have the right to file complaints with the EEOC, who in turn will investigate the complaint and pursue settlement or if relevant even file lawsuits.

4 years ago, in 2014, 18 states — along with the District of Columbia and 130 cities and counties all across the US — also banned discrimination against gender. Private companies too, are writing their own anti-discrimination policies that cover bias against transgender individuals.

The question is whether in the age of President Trump those gains will be lost.

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How Well Do You Know Your Rights As A Disabled Employee?

Karen DesotoPeople with impairments that significantly limit major life activity are often covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here are a few things that Human Rights activist Karen DeSoto feels you must know.

What is Covered?

The impairment doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical one only. It can be a mental one as well. However, weight, height, pregnancy and homosexuality are not covered. Pregnancy is covered under a separate type of discrimination act. Furthermore, the impairment needn’t necessarily be a permanent one.

Are all Employers Covered?

An employer is only bound by this Act if the company has 15 employees or more. However, your state or county may individually have anti-discrimination laws that are relevant to companies with smaller employee strength.

What do you mean by Major Life Activities?

Activities such as caring for yourself, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, sitting, standing, lifting, concentrating, thinking, working, breathing, performing manual tasks and interacting with others all come under the umbrella of major life activities.

To be covered under this Act, your disability must significantly limit your ability to perform one or more of the above-mentioned activities as compared to how average people perform them. If your case goes to court, they will weight the severity and nature of your disability along with the long-term impact it has on your ability to work.

Also, it is important to know that even if you aren’t currently disabled you may still be protected under this Act if you have a recorded disability. This is relevant in case of a history of a substantially limiting impairment or in case you have been misclassified as having one.