DOJ Accepts EEOC Ruling That Trans Bias Is Covered By Title VII, ATF Begins Investigation

From Metro Weekly:

Posted by Chris Geidner
May 21, 2012

The Department of Justice has accepted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s April 20 ruling that claims of gender identity discrimination are a type of sex discrimination that is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — a ruling that could set in motion a series of changes in the way transgender people are treated by the federal government.

The ruling, first reported by Metro Weekly on April 23, arose from a complaint brought by the Transgender Law Center on behalf of Mia Macy, a transgender woman who lives in California, against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Macy claims that she was denied employment with the ATF after the agency learned of her transition, which took place after she left her previous job with the Phoenix Police Department.

The ATF Office of Equal Opportunity sent a letter to Macy dated May 18, a copy of which was received today by TLC and reviewed by Metro Weekly, stating that it was accepting for investigation Macy’s claims of discrimination “based on gender (female), gender identity, gender stereotype, and or transgender status.” Initially, ATF, which is within the Department of Justice, had stated that Macy’s gender identity and “transgender status” claims were not able to be brought under Title VII, which led Macy to appeal her complaint to the EEOC, which found that her claims could be brought under Title VII.

In the May 18 letter, ATF states, “In accordance with the [EEOC]’s decison dated April 20, 2012, we are processing your entire complaint under Title VII.” Under the EEOC procedure for such complaints, the ATF — or Macy — had 30 days from the receipt of the EEOC decision to request that the EEOC reconsider its decision. That deadline would have fallen sometime this week.

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