By: John Egbert
On May 2, 2016, the EEOC posted on its website, information about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s positions related to LGBT workers. Among other things, the EEOC warned employers that, in the EEOC’s view, it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to do the following:
-Fail to hire an applicant because she is a transgender woman;
-Deny an employee equal access to a common restroom corresponding to the employee’s gender identity (i.e., require that employee to use a separate, single-user or “family” bathroom);
-Harass an employee because of a gender transition, such as by intentionally and persistently failing to use the name and gender pronoun that correspond to the gender identity with which the employee identifies, and which the employee has communicated to management and employees.
The posting of this information likely means the EEOC intends to look for and pursue these kinds of claims. Accordingly, employers should take steps to ensure that their policies and practices avoid exposure to this risk. Read the full post from the EEOC here.
John Egbert is chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. He is also currently a member of the firm’s management committee, and previously served as General Counsel.