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Monday, July 21, 2014

President signs Executive Order covering gender identity for federal workers and contractors



Washington, DC - Today, President Barack Obama signed an executive order protecting transgender federal workers from discrimination and prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination for employers that work with the federal government as contractors or subcontractors. The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) welcomes the executive order extending gender identity and sexual orientation employment protections to 28 million workers across the country.  
In response to the signing, NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling issued the following statement: 
"With President Obama's signature today, millions of LGBT Americans now have explicit workplace protections that ensures they and their families aren't cut out of a job because of who they are. Though Congress must act to extend explicit LGBT nondiscrimination protections to all Americans, NCTE celebrates this advancement as one step forward in the ongoing fight to end anti-transgender bias and prejudice in the workplace."
The executive order aims to fill gaps between Title VII sex discrimination protections and a handful of state laws that ban anti-LGBT discrimination. Today, only 18 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have gender identity employment non-discrimination laws on the books.  
In light of the signing, NCTE reissued two resources to help transgender workers understand their employment protections. The first is "Employment Discrimination and Transgender People," a broader employment guide for transgender people that outlines existing workplace protections--including the new executive order for federal contractors--and explains how transgender people can advocate for their employment rights through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The second is "Transgender Federal Employees: Your Workplace Rights," which explains how the executive order bolsters their Title VII sex discrimination protections.  
"Though the House of Representatives continues their record of inaction on any legislation and, in particular, continues to allow federal job protections like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to languish, some transgender people have some legal recourse under these new protections. NCTE hopes that our know your rights resources help transgender people better understand these protections so they can better advocate for their own rights," said Keisling. 
NCTE applauds today's action and will continue to press for nationwide employment protections.

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