The U.S. government takes issues of civil rights very seriously, and the protections afforded by the federal government extend to any workplace in Indiana. While sex discrimination is prohibited, transgender individuals may wonder where they fall under legislation that, in some cases, was written decades ago.
It is in the interest of any transgender person who is concerned about potential discrimination to be well-informed of their civil rights and how they apply to their employment.
Transgender protections under state law
According to Freedom for All Americans, Indiana has very limited non-discrimination protections for LGBTQs. There are no explicit protections for the employment of transgender people.
In matters where state law falls short, decisions reached by a higher court can supersede. Such is that case with the 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, which ruled in 2017 that Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
What the Supreme Court has to say
While protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation creates new protections for queer, bisexual, lesbian and gay individuals, the ruling from the 7th Circuit seems to leave out transgender people, as this may be considered an issue of gender and not sexual orientation. If there seems to be any fuzziness in this region, the Supreme Court weighs in on the matter.
CNN reports that in a majority opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex.” According to this ruling, the broad language in Title VII that covers sexual discrimination affords the same protections to transgender people.