In a stunning move the Trump Dept. of Justice is trying to get the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC) to reverse years of findings and rulings, and declare that discrimination against LGBT workers is legal. The EEOC does not make law but its findings are highly-regarded and taken into account by the courts.
Since 2011 the EEOC has stated that stereotyping of lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers is sex discrimination and thus illegal. The following year that was expanded to include transgender workers. In 2015 the EEOC declared sexual orientation workplace discrimination is already illegal..
Now, the DOJ is “urging,” as Bloomberg Law reports, the EEOC to “flip” its position, and tell the U.S. Supreme Court discriminating against LGBT workers is not a form of sex bias and therefore is totally legal.
“Political leadership in the Solicitor General’s office wants the EEOC on board to show the high court that the Trump administration is now unified in the belief that Congress didn’t have lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers in mind when it passed a federal workplace discrimination law more than five decades ago,” Bloomberg Law states.
The government has until Friday to decide how it will proceed – united or not.
The EEOC successfully sued on behalf of a transgender woman who worked as a funeral home director in Michigan, but was fired when she said she would be transitioning. The Justice Dept. would like the case reversed by the Supreme Court.
Bloomberg says it’s “unlikely” the EEOC will reverse course, but it also reports the DOJ could just roll over the EEOC. Given its history under the Trump administration, it seems that is more likely to happen than Bloomberg suggests.