Developments at the EEOC: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released a new report, "What You Should Know about EEOC and the Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers", to emphasize its expanding enforcement efforts regarding sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination issues.
Over the last few years, the EEOC has shifted its thinking regarding coverage of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While Title VII does not include sexual orientation or gender identity in its express list of covered bases of discrimination, the EEOC has concluded that sexual orientation and gender identity are properly treated as sex discrimination under Title VII, using the "sex stereotyping" theory of discrimination.
As previously discussed in this blog, the EEOC had first expanded this "sex stereotyping" jurisdiction in the federal sector. The "What You Should Know" report and its related case citations signal the EEOC's push to expand the "sex stereotyping" theory into the private sector as well, as shown by the EEOC's filing of two "sex stereotyping" enforcement cases in federal court. As the EEOC notes, "the EEOC's district, field, and area offices have been instructed to take and investigate (where appropriate) charges from individuals who believe they have been discriminated against because of transgender status (or because of gender identity or a gender transition). " The "What You Should Know" report also discussed recent case statistics for LGBT cases received by the EEOC in FY 2013 and the first three quarters of FY2014.
If you are a federal employee or applicant for federal employment and believe that you have suffered unequal treatment on the basis of your sex or sexual orientation, please contact the law firm of Passman & Kaplan, P.C. to request an initial consultation.