A Win for Transgender Employees: Chevron Deference for the EEOC's Decision Macy v. Holder

Laura Ann Taylor


A recent decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in an administrative adjudication has the potential to dramatically alter the legal landscape for a transgender workers with employment discrimination claims. The historic decision is predicted to improve the availability and likelihood of success of judicial and administrative remedies for claims of discrimination based on transgender status.1 In its ruling, the EEOC recognized that "claims of discrimination based on transgender status, also referred to as claims based on gender identity, are cognizable under Title VII's sex discrimination prohibition..." and "conclud[d] that intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination 'based on...sex,' and such discrimination therefore violates Title VII"2 This ruling reflects the changing attitudes toward transgender individuals in our society and signals a growing recognition that all individuals are entitled to basic civil rights that prevent discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

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