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October 29, 2014 Practice Points

Groundbreaking Ruling for Transgender Federal Employee

By Emily Ambrose

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) released a report finding that the Army had discriminated against Tamara Lusardi, a transgender federal employee, on the basis of her gender identity. Lusardi was represented by the Transgender Law Center.

The OSC held "the Agency's intentional limitations on [Ms. Lusardi's] restroom usage significantly changed her working conditions, as did her supervisor's repeated use of her birth name and male pronouns and her manager's targeted restriction of the content of her conversations with coworkers. We also find that the harassment stemmed from an abuse of the supervisor-subordinate relationship by Agency officials with the authority to take, recommend, and approve the actions at issue." See the full report.

The decision follows President Obama's July 2014 Executive Order prohibiting the federal government from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Keywords: litigation, LGBT, army, Obama Executive Order

Emily Ambrose is with Blackwell Burke P.A. in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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