Esther Lander Quoted on DOJ Shift to Protect Transgender Workers

Esther Lander, a partner in Akin Gump’s labor and employment practice, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance Journal blog in the article “DOJ Reinforces Protections for Transgender Workers.”

The Department of Justice, according to the article, has issued a memo asserting that the government will now take the position in litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that discrimination claims do cover an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status. The memo, however, does not cover private employers because, the article notes, the authority to sue them for discrimination belongs to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Lander said courts will likely give the memo “considerable weight.” Because of that, she added that companies “would be wise to update existing [equal employment opportunity] policies to ensure gender identity and transgender status are protected from discrimination.”