Recently, the US Department of Labor announced it would consider gender identity and pregnancy to be protected statuses. Any discrimination based on these factors would be considered sex discrimination. This change extends equal opportunity protections to all genderqueer people working for or looking to be hired by the federal government.
With this decision, the federal government is taking the forefront in the progression of worker’s rights. Although the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was reintroduced into Congress recently and did not pass, this approach is a step in the right direction. By instituting the proposed protections within the government, it may be seen by the people of the country how these protections are basic and necessary. This strategy allows the country to see how the protections of ENDA can be carried out on a large scale, with little worry, and with no consequence to the people already employed.
Most of my anxiety lately has been about finding a job where I can be myself, where I could safely work on my transition. Knowing the US government is coming around to aiding myself and people like me, I can have heart that eventually these protections will get passed nationwide, and I will no longer have to worry about how I must present myself. I will be who I am no matter what, as I have decided, but it would be a lot easier with that small amount of help.
How do you feel about the US Department of Labor announcement? Will it help to push along the protections of ENDA or not?