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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Things to Do When You Are No Longer Protected By DACA

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Ever since Trump got elected as president, DACA recipients have been concerned about their future. While many of the rumours of him stripping them off their protection and work permits on his first day in office were unfounded, the winding down of the program was eventually announced in early September 2017.

If you are concerned about your future once the protection is actually lifted off in March 2018, here are a few things you want to do as per human rights activist and legal expert Karen DeSoto

1. The first and less recommended option is to continue to live the lives you have been leading – Working, driving and getting around undocumented. This option puts you in legal jeopardy all day, every day and increases the chances of your deportation once you are caught.

2. A more practical approach will be to start planning to leave the country in a systematic manner. Sell your house, car and other assets while you are still protected under DACA and try to identify a country that would welcome your skillsets.

For people who grew up in the US, spending most of their lives here, the second step is a challenging one to take. However, in the long run it is the more practical one than going back to taking the kind of jobs you did before you were protected by DACA or transitioning back to illegality. With the right help from immigration experts you will be able to make sure that you create a new life for yourself in a sensible and organized manner.