In Texas, can you be fired for telling your boss that you're transgender?
Unfortunately, this has happened before and there's no outright guarantee in the law to prevent it from happening again. But, there are definitely certain laws in place that can protect those who are transgender. On top of that, recent national cases have also given a nod to supporting transgender protections in the workplace.
What if you're in Texas and trans, though? Here's what your rights may look like:
Some Federal Protections
Unfortunately, there is no clear cut law forbidding discrimination against transgender employees in the workplace. However, under federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, many forms of gender discrimination are prohibited in the workplace.
A 2012 landmark ruling issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) declared that transgender workers are a protected class under Title VII, urging that the federal law shields trans individuals from discrimination,
While instructive, the EEOC decision does not change the fact that federal law currently does not recognize transgender or gender identity as a protected class.
No State Laws In Place, Unfortunately
Unfortunately, while some authorities may agree that Title VII should provide protection for those who are transgender, few states have laws prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals. While some states have laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, Texas is not one of them, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reports.
However, an increasing number of jurisdictions are leaning toward transgender protection, and with the EEOC's encouraging interpretation of Title VII, Texas will hopefully follow suit.
If you are transgender and feel you have been discriminated against in the workplace, you should report the incident to the EEOC and as well as the Texas Workforce Commission. Also, an experienced employment attorney can help you seek the justice that you deserve.
- Transgender Employees Now Protected By Anti-Discrimination Law After 'Landmark' EEOC Ruling (The Huffington Post)
- Recent EEOC Ruling Recognizes Transgender Discrimination (FindLaw)
- Filing an EEOC Complaint or Charge (FindLaw)
- An On-Call Attorney Is Always On Your Side With a Legal Plan From LegalStreet (LegalStreet.com)
(Disclosure: LegalStreet and FindLaw.com are owned by the same company.)