Army ordered to do right by transgender civilian worker

The world is not what it was just a few decades ago, or even a few years ago. Same-sex marriage is now legal in many states. Many individuals identify themselves with the opposite gender. In most instances, the law has kept pace with these changes, extending anti-discrimination provisions for the protection of personal rights.

It is tough to regulate the conduct and behavior of individuals who might find such cultural and social changes hard to deal with, however. It’s in such circumstances that the law has to be leveraged. And calling in an experienced attorney is always recommended.

What prompts this post is recent news about a ruling from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a former soldier who transitioned from male to female and who now works for the Army as a civilian. The decision reinforces an earlier ruling from the government’s Office of Special Counsel that found that the woman has been the victim of workplace discrimination.

According to reports about the case, the woman underwent transition in 2010 while working at a missile research facility in Alabama. Prior to that, she had served on active duty in the Army as a man from 1986 to 1992 achieving the rank of sergeant. She earned an honorable discharge and went on to serve in the reserves until the end of 2000.

Despite emails to coworkers announcing the woman’s gender transition, the OSC found that she had been prevented from using the ladies restroom. Some coworkers also continued to call her by her male birth name and used masculine or even neuter pronouns when referring to her.

As a result of the EEOC decision, the Army is under orders. It must grant the woman full access to female facilities and it has 120 days from the start of this month to conduct an investigation and determine how much the woman should receive in compensatory damages. Coworkers will be required to undergo equal-opportunity training. The Army is also urged to take disciplinary action against two unnamed supervisors.

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