One draw back to protections enforced by the EEOC was the lack of protection against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, which typically affected transgender persons. Employees who work on federal contracts, now have protection under Executive Order 13672, because of Macy v. Holder. In this case, a female police officer was denied a position with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms when she informed them that she was transitioning from male to female.
The “basis of sex” definition did not include gender identity or sexual orientation, but has now been expanded to include these two categories as part of its definition. California has provided protection against harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation for many years. HR professionals should review all hiring and employment practices to ensure that their practices do not discriminate or harass individuals based on the protected classes.