Recent EEOC Ruling Likely Prohibits Federal Contractors From Gender Identity or Expression Discrimination
For Immediate Release
May 4, 2012
Laura Rodriguez, firstname.lastname@example.org, (310) 956-2425
Christy Mallory, Reid Rasmussen Fellow of Law & Policy, email@example.com, (310) 794-9469
Brad Sears, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, (310) 794-5279
Nan Hunter, Legal Scholarship Director, NDH5@law.georgetown.edu
Enforcement agencies likely to interpret sex discrimination prohibitions under executive order consistent with Title VII
LOS ANGELES – A recent ruling from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), finding that gender identity discrimination is unlawful, will likely be extended to federal contractors, according to a new Williams Institute analysis. The EEOC opinion held that gender identity or expression discrimination violates the prohibition on sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. By executive order (EO 11246), federal contractors are similarly prohibited from sex discrimination.
“Given existing policies and practices, we anticipate that the reasoning and conclusion of the EEOC opinion will be applied to claims filed under the executive order,” said Christy Mallory, Reid Rasmussen Fellow of Law & Policy at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute.
Sex discrimination complaints against federal contractors filed pursuant to the existing executive order are enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an agency within the Department of Labor. The OFCCP has an explicit policy of interpreting the executive order in a manner consistent with Title VII, and has followed the EEOC’s regulations and guidance in enforcing the order. Further, complaints filed with the OFCCP are either directly enforced by the EEOC or enforced by OFCCP officers acting as agents of the EEOC.
“The OFCCP has announced plans to update its regulations on sex discrimination and we anticipate that this update will include an explicit interpretation of the executive order to prohibit gender identity and expression discrimination consistent with the EEOC ruling,” said Brad Sears, Executive Director for the Williams Institute. “Current OFCCP policies and practices require consistency with Title VII, and clarifying the agency’s regulations will help federal contractors comply with the executive order and help the OFCCP with its enforcement efforts.”
The EEOC decision was in Mia Macy, Appeal No. 0120120821 (EEOC April 20, 2012), which can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/90910497/EEOC-Ruling.