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Equal Opportunity Policy Now Includes Gender Identity and Pregnancy

The U.S. Department of Labor announced late last week that a revision of the Equal Opportunity policy now ensures protections of federal government employees based on gender identity and pregnancy. Both protections have been added under sex discrimination, and will apply to hiring, disciplinary action, and promotion for agency employees.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis updated policies on gender discrimination as part of an annual requirement for a written policy statement expressing its commitment to equal opportunity in employment. “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, which fosters a work environment that fully utilizes the capabilities of every employee,” said Secretary Solis. “It is my goal that we achieve and maintain a high-quality, diverse workforce at all organizational levels throughout the department.”

Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, said “We applaud Secretary Solis for acting with fairness and equity for its employees. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration to respond to the employment-related needs of all Americans – including transgender Americans – and ensure equal access to federal employment programs for everyone.”

According to the Department of Labor, these policies will be distributed to all current employees and will be available to all new employees.

Sources:

The Advocate 4/29/11; Passport Magazine 4/29/11; Department of Labor Press Release 4/28/11