The EEOC recently ruled that Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination “because of . . . sex” now includes protection for any transgender individual. With this ruling, the EEOC expressly overturns earlier EEOC decisions to the contrary dating back to 1984, 1994 and 1996. Employers should be aware that, according to the EEOC’s current interpretation, any transgender applicant or employee enjoys all of Title VII’s protections against discrimination or harassment.
The complainant had applied for a job with the ATF while a male and believed she was going to be hired given certain promises made in the application process. Later, when the ATF learned she was transitioning from male to female, she was told that funding for the job was no longer available; that information, she later learned, was not accurate.