The Feds’ Double Standard for Discrimination

noworkplacediscriminationDiscrimination on the basis of transgender status was first declared by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to be a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act  in 2011.

The decision was made in the case of a transgender woman  who complained to the EEOC that she was not hired by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) because of her gender identity. The complainant, Mia Macy, said she was told the job was hers until she informed the DOJ that she was transitioning from male to female.

The EEOC “clarified” that Macy had a right to sue for sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which until then had applied only to individuals on the basis of race, sex (straight and homosexual), religion, color and national origin.  The EEOC declared that  “claims of discrimination based on transgender status … are cognizable under Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition…”

Whether the EEOC’s decision will hold up will be tested in the weeks ahead as Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the state of North Carolina have filed competing lawsuits regarding North Carolina’s refusal to allow transgender individuals to use the restroom of their gender identity

It is ironic that the EEOC ‘s landmark transgender decision occurred in a case involving hiring discrimination.

In my book, Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace, I note that the EEOC  completely ignored the epidemic of age discrimination  that began during the Great Recession in 2007 (and persists today). In fact, I point out that the Obama administration in 2009 authorized widespread age discrimination in federal hiring as a diversity measure.

It has also come to light that both the EEOC and the DOJ actually engage in age discrimination in hiring, the very agencies that exist to defend equal employment and equal rights, respectively!

I have a question: Why do the feds consider trans discrimination to be reprehensible but not age discrimination?

The bottom line is that Ms. Macy has more protection from irrational and unfounded employment discrimination as a transgender woman than she will have as an older woman.  And it is hard to reconcile Ms. Lynch’s ringing defense of transgender workers with the federal government’s indefensible practice of discriminating against older workers.

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Author: pgb

Attorney at Law, author and blogger.

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