Legislation for worker protection sometimes seems outdated, with certain regulations and protections dating back decades. Thus, it is common for people in more newly-protected categories – such as transgender individuals – to wonder what protections extend to them.
It is important for all transgender people to understand their civil rights and what protections apply to them at work, allowing them to apply these protections to their employment and stay safe at their workplace.
Limited protections on state levels
Freedom For All Americans looks into protections offered to the LGBTQ spectrum, including those who would consider themselves transgender. Unfortunately, in Indiana, there is a very limited amount of non-discrimination protections for anyone on this spectrum. Transgender employees do not have any specific protections under state law.
However, the good news is that decisions of higher courts will supersede the shortcomings of individual states. For example, the 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act prohibits any discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Does Title VII cover transgender rights?
However, this ruling largely seemed to create protection only for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer. Many consider that transgender individuals do not fall under the protection of sexual orientation, as it is a matter of gender identity instead.
The Supreme Court will often step in and weigh on matters in cases that evoke grey areas, which is what they did with the wording of Title VII. In a majority opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII’s general and broad language also offers protection to transgender individuals, even if not directly stated.