The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued its Fiscal Year 2014 Performance and Accountability Report, touting that it secured $296.1 million in monetary relief for victims of employment discrimination in private sector and state and local government workplaces through mediation, conciliation and other administrative enforcement. The EEOC also secured $22.5 million in monetary relief for charging parties through litigation, and $74 million in monetary relief for federal employees and applicants. In each of these categories, the agency obtained substantial targeted equitable relief to remedy violations of equal employment opportunity laws and prevent future discriminatory conduct in the workplace.
The agency received 88,778 private sector charges in FY 2014, a decrease of about 5,000 charges from FY 2013. In addition, a total of 87,442 charges were resolved, 9,810 fewer than in FY 2013, which is likely due to the government shutdown and the effects of sequestration. While a hiring freeze and attrition shrunk the number of agency staff between FY 2012 and FY 2013, the agency hired more than 300 staff at the end of FY 2014, adding needed resources to improve service to workers and employers in investigating and resolving charges of discrimination. Its litigation efforts included two lawsuits on behalf of transgender persons filed just before the close of the fiscal year: the Lakeland Eye Clinic and the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. case. The EEOC has made clear in the Macy decision that it views discrimination against transgender people as sex discrimination. The EEOC held a forum featuring Chai Feldblum on the Macy decision that you can watch here. In the forum, Feldblum discusses Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, which many lawyers, including the lawyers who founded Gender Identity Watch, have noted (prior to the Macy decision) would cover transgender people. The EEOC notes in the forum held in 2012 that the decision to cover transgender people in Macy was “quick.” Feldblum worked for years with the Human Rights Campaign, which has been accused of being anti-transgender.
For gay people, the EEOC has produced a brochure.
It is wholly misleading and a disservice to transgender people to continue to claim that transgender people are not covered under federal law banning employment discrimination based on sex. They are, in fact, covered. They should be covered. It is, in fact, sex discrimination.