Bil Browning

Labor Department Adds Gender Identity Protections

Filed By Bil Browning | April 29, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Department of Labor, employment protections, equal opportunity, gender identity, Labor Department, nondiscrimination

The Department of Labor announced new equal opportunity policies yesterday that included gender identity protections. The policies now protects all employees and applicants regardless of race; color; religion; national origin; sex, including pregnancy and gender identity; age; disability, whether physical or mental; genetic information; status as a parent; sexual orientation; or other non-merit factor.

"I am expressing my personal commitment to ensure that the U.S. Department of Labor is a model workplace, free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, 600px-US-DeptOfLabor-Seal_svg.pngwhich fosters a work environment that fully utilizes the capabilities of every employee," said Secretary Hilda Solis. "It is my goal that we achieve and maintain a high-quality, diverse workforce at all organizational levels throughout the department."

The new policies been given to all current employees and will be disseminated to new employees during orientation as well as to employees who are promoted into supervisory ranks. The new rule doesn't apply further than that agency, but will apply to all hiring, promotion and disciplinary practices.

Rea Carey, Executive Director of the Task Force, said, "With this change, the federal government is doing what smart employers in the private sector have been doing for years. They know that in order to attract the best talent they need to show that diversity is important to their companies. We are grateful for the leadership of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis on this issue and look forward to our continuing work with the administration to ensure greater fairness in federal policy."

The change was made possible by advocacy from the New Beginning Initiative, a coalition of 26 groups convened by the Task Force to advocate for pro-LGBT federal policies.

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Angela Brightfeather | April 29, 2011 10:29 AM

While applauding this new policy statment by the Dept. of Labor, I only have two things to say:

1.) This is a step in the right direction...but it is not suitable compensation or substitution, for an inclusive ENDA bill that they refuse to hold a floor vote on.

2.) As long as we are talking about changing policies...why is it that the present administration that has been sitting on a new VA policy designed to treat Transgender Veterans fairly and equally at all VA facilities and that has been reviewed by the White House already, still waiting to be enacted and announced?

It is pure neglect and discrimination faced every day by Transgender Veterans seeking their just and due VA medical rights that are being denied. With a policy statement that the VA and the White House have been hatching for two years now, how long is this important policy revision going to be left in the closet?

If you were to give the Transgender Community their preference and place all their issues on the table, I may be biased about this, but I think they would want their Trans Veterans to have their rights first because they earned them the hard way and their lives depend on it.

Being without a job because your Transgender is insulting and vile, but being turned down by the VA for life threatening medical treatment is another thing all together.

If we must crawl before we walk, so be it. Progress is progress.

I'm just wondering with all the protected classes just who happens to be left out? Why not just say all Americans are protected and mean it.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 30, 2011 5:30 AM

"policies now protects all employees and applicants" of the Department of Labor, and no one else. Too little, too late, too limited and not permanent.

And did someone mention that there's an election coming up?