April 16, 2013 Articles

Gender Identity: Breaking Ground in Employment Law

Claims based on gender-identity discrimination are gaining traction.

By Evan Schlack

Courts and state legislatures throughout the country are demonstrating an increased willingness to recognize claims based on gender-identity discrimination. “Gender identity” is the term used to describe a person’s subjective sense of gender, which includes views held by but not limited to transgender, transsexual, and transvestite persons. While Congress has yet to extend protections against employment discrimination based on sex to include gender identity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recent decisions of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Supreme Court indicate that they would likely support a legislative change to the definition of “sex” under Title VII to include gender identity.

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