More transgender legal victories

Transgender victims of workplace discrimination are for the first time finding restitution in a pair of decisions handed down from the federal government finding anti-trans job bias at two institutions — one a federal contractor, the other an arm of the U.S. government.

The two decisions ––reported today in the Washingon Blade––are the result of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is charged with enforcing laws against workplace discrimination, finding last year in a historic, unanimous decision transgender workplace discrimination amounts to gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

“One of the decisions is the culmination of litigation in that very case, known as Macy v. Holder, was initiated by the Transgender Law Center after the plaintiff was told she wouldn’t receive a job at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’s crime laboratory in Walnut Creek, Calif., after she announced she would transition from male to female.

“On July 8, the Department of Justice — to which the case was remanded after the EEOC made its decision last year — issued a final decision finding Macy indeed faced discrimination when she applied for the position and awarding her relief.

“[T]his office finds that the ATF discriminated against complainant based on her transgender status, and thus her sex, when it stopped complainant’s further participation in the hiring process for the NIBIN Ballistics Forensics Technician Laboratory position,” the decision states. Continue reading “More transgender legal victories”

The boys at Merck

This month, Merck  was hit with a $100 million sex discrimination suit alleging that the company engaged in systemic gender bias, reports Fortune. “The complaint could be used in a law school as a way to teach virtually every gender-based claim that could possibly be brought against an employer.

“The case includes many allegations of discrimination against female and pregnant employees, and staffers who chose to take family-medical leave. The suit also claims that Merck engaged in discriminatory promotional and payroll practices. And the case also includes less tangible “Boys’ Club” allegations, which have become increasingly common in gender bias cases.images-2

“In particular, the complaint against Merck alleges that “male junior employees have opportunities to socialize with male senior management to the exclusion of women. Female employees are excluded from these events, and thus excluded from opportunities to develop relationships with senior management that provide opportunities for advancement within Merck due to the company’s ‘tap-on-the shoulder’ promotion policies …”

“But Merck is far from alone. In a 2011 paper, Holland & Hart’s John M. Husband and Bradford J. Williams list private employers who have settled class actions in the tens — or even hundreds — of millions of dollars, noting that it “reads like a who’s who of Fortune 500 companies.” Many, but not all, involve sex discrimination. Continue reading “The boys at Merck”

Working women, weight, and biased science

A new study adds a gendered dimension to the rise in adult obesity, suggesting a correlation between women who work outside the home and women who are overweight.

This news is sure to feed conservative arguments favoring traditional gender roles, although fortunately one media outlet – Al Jazeera -takes issues with such assumptions, as excerpted belowimgres-2 Continue reading “Working women, weight, and biased science”

White bias in US fertility care

After the recent U.S. elections, several conservatives remarked that “traditional America” was on the decline, largely due to new voter demographics. But American medical science doesn’t seem to be bending over backwards to help minority families have children––quite the opposite. As reported in today’s Huffington Post by law professor Jim Hawkins, “

“People who study the fertility business have been concerned for years over the fact that racial minorities utilize fertility treatments at a lower rate than whites. Continue reading “White bias in US fertility care”