Labor Dept adds gender identity to employment protections

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The U.S. Department of Labor now includes gender identity under “sex” in the list of protected categories for its employees, according to a Thursday press release.

The measure will prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity within the department.

“I am expressing my personal commitment to ensure that the U.S. Department of Labor is a model workplace, free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, which fosters a work environment that fully utilizes the capabilities of every employee,” said Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis. “It is my goal that we achieve and maintain a high-quality, diverse workforce at all organizational levels throughout the department.”

The required annual policy statement has been distributed to all current employees and will be a part of new employee orientation as well as the promotion of existing employees to supervisory positions.