The U.S. Office of Special Counsel determined that the Department of the Army engaged in “frequent, pervasive and humiliating,” gender-identity discrimination against Tamara Lusardi, a veteran and civilian Army software specialist who transitioned from male to female.
Lusardi was working in the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (“AMRDEC”) in Redstone, Alabama. During transition, the Army improperly restricted her restroom usage, referred to her with male pronouns and by her birth name and stopped giving her work, the OSC said in a report.
Lusardi was also required to use a single-user, gender-neutral restroom, out of concerns that Female employees might feel “uncomfortable” sharing a restroom with her.
The OSC, a federal investigative and prosecutorial agency, said that Female coworker preferences alone “cannot justify discriminatory working conditions,” since it could reinforce the very stereotypes and biases that nondiscrimination laws are intended to protect against. According to the report, Lusardi should be able to use bathrooms designated for her gender identity.