Developments at OPM: On June 3, 2015, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) jointly issued a new report, “Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections and Responsibilities.” This Guide summarizes the great extent to which the EEOC and OSC have expanded to cover sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination claims during the past 10 years.
The Guide follows up on a 2014 report issued by the MSPB, previously discussed in this blog. The Guide summarizes the two major areas of recently expanded coverage for LGBT discrimination complaints: the EEOC’s expansion of Title VII under the “sex stereotyping” theory to cover sexual orientation and gender identity claims in the federal sector, and the present Special Counsel’s reversal of her predecessor’s policy which recognized sexual orientation claims as Prohibited Personnel Practices. The Guide compares and contrasts the mechanics of these two theories, discussing matters such as filing deadlines, which claims get filed where, differences in the remedies available, etc… This comparison is summarized in a chart at the end of the Guide. The Guide also noted the existence of agency-specific grievance procedures which may also be available to certain employees.