WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a first-of-its-kind ruling, the government says transgender people are protected under federal employment discrimination laws.
The decision from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission late last week says employers cannot discriminate on the basis of gender identity.
The case involved a California woman who claimed she was denied a contractor job with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after the contractor learned she had undergone a procedure to change her gender from a man to a woman.
An EEOC spokeswoman says the unanimous ruling from the five-member agency does not create a new cause of action. It clarifies that charges of gender stereotyping are considered claims of sex discrimination under existing law.
The EEOC is the primary agency that interprets and enforces the nation's employment discrimination laws.
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