Trans Federal Employees: A Guide for Your Workplace Rights

If you are a transgender federal employee, you’ve no doubt heard about the recent victories that make your job more secure and more fair. Today, NCTE released a guide to knowing your rights as a federal employee.

With about 2 million civilian employees, the US government is the nation’s largest employer. And since Barack Obama began his presidency, trans federal workers now enjoy strong workplace protections, and benefit from government-wide guidance on workplace transition issues. NCTE has worked very hard and successfully to move this along.  Key victories over the past couple of years include the following:

  • President Obama signed a Presidential memorandum in June 2009 directing federal agencies to take all available steps to ensure equal employment opportunity for LGBT people.
  • In January 2010, gender identity was listed in the federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statement on all federal job postings
  • The Office of Personnel Management issued guidance for federal agencies in May 2011.  This guidance covers many of the questions that workplace supervisors would have about trans staff members such as facilities usage, transition protocols, and employee privacy.
  • Individual agencies have begun clarifying that transgender people are protected in federal employment based on existing sex discrimination laws.

Of course, there is still work to be done. Federal workplaces across the government and across the country need to learn about these rights and implement them fairly and firmly. And of course, the federal government needs to stop discriminating against its trans employees with arbitrary health insurance exclusions. All in all, though, the federal government has made great strides in being a decent employer to transgender people.

We do hear from some federal workers and job applicants who experience discrimination, and aren’t sure what to do. Thus, NCTE has produced a new resource, “Transgender Federal Employees: Your Workplace Rights,” which outlines your rights and the processes available to address discrimination on the job. While individuals who’ve experienced discrimination may still need to find a lawyer to help them, this resource is a valuable place to start.

To fully achieve equality, we must assert our rights. And while we are still very much in need of an Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to make those rights unequivocal for all, there are still things we can do now. We will be developing a similar resource for non-federal employees in the near future.

If you are a federal employee and would like to report to us about your job experiences, please call us at 202-903-0112 or email us at ncte@transequality.org.

Read the new resource below, or download it here.

View this document on Scribd
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