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Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Attorneys Report on Landmark EEOC Ruling on Gender Identity Discrimination

May 7th, 2012

In a recent landmark decision made by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sex discrimination in the workplace is now clearly defined to include all individuals, regardless of biological or perceived gender identification.  According to the ruling, employers who discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of gender identity can now be found in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—specifically its prohibition of sex discrimination in employment. Although New Jersey Law against Discrimination (NJLAD), and similar laws in 16 other states already specifically protected against gender identity discrimination in the workplace, the EEOC decision now sets a national standard.

The Philadelphia gender identity discrimination attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates are experienced in defending those individuals who have faced gender identity discrimination in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and recognize the importance that the recent EEOC decision will have on deciding future cases in all U.S. Courts. Until now, although many states and municipalities across the nation have clearly defined statutes protecting individuals from gender identity discrimination in the workplace, complaints filed with the EEOC claiming gender identity discrimination were often rejected because of uncertainty in interpreting the language of the existing law.  The EEOC’s decision recognizes and protects the rights of transgender people to declare their gender identity without fear of discrimination in the workplace.

Transgender individuals include those who are transsexual, transvestites, and androgynes.  Though they may have been born with male or female characteristics, they perceive themselves as the opposite sex and have the right to choose to their gender identity based on this self concept.  Many transgender individuals decide to surgically transition to the opposite sex, while some choose to live as male or female, despite their anatomy.  An employer who refuses to hire, who terminates, or who treats an  individual unfairly because they transition to male or female gender is in violation of the law.

Gender Identity Discrimination Clearly Defined by EEOC Decision

The EEOC decision makes it clear that sex is no longer defined solely on biological characteristics.  An individual’s gender identity is defined by physical and genetic characteristics as well as self-perceived gender, encompassing not just a person’s biological sex, but also the cultural and social aspects associated with masculinity and femininity. Therefore, a refusal to hire or promote, or otherwise discriminate on the basis of gender identity is by definition sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Contact the employment discrimination attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates to learn more about this landmark decision.

Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Advocate for Victims of Gender Identity Discrimination  

The Philadelphia gender identity discrimination attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates are strong advocates for all those who face sex discrimination based on gender identity.  If you believe that you have been denied employment, terminated, demoted, or unfairly compensated or treated based on your gender identity, we can help you seek justice.  Our experienced, knowledgeable team of employment discrimination lawyers will assess the details of your claim, advise you of your options, and represent you in any and all proceedings. Call us today at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation or contact us online.


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