Sex Bias Ban on Federal Property Includes Gender Identity

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By Louis C. LaBrecque

Aug. 18 — The prohibition against sex discrimination that applies to federal agencies occupying property operated under the authority of the General Services Administration includes gender identity discrimination, the GSA said.

“Federal agencies occupying space under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of GSA must allow individuals to use restroom facilities and related areas consistent with their gender identity,” GSA Administrator Denise Turner-Roth wrote in a bulletin that was included in a Federal Register notice (81 Fed. Reg. 55,148).

The “self-identification of gender identity by any individual is sufficient to establish which restroom or other single-sex facilities should be used,” the bulletin from Turner-Roth said.

The GSA owns and leases about 9,200 buildings across the country, according to the agency’s website.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the departments of Education and Justice have “interpreted prohibitions against sex discrimination under various Federal civil rights laws and regulations,” the GSA said in the Federal Register notice. “GSA has reviewed these interpretations and agency determinations, and is issuing a Federal Management Regulation (FMR) bulletin to clarify that the nondiscrimination requirement includes gender identity as a prohibited basis of discrimination under the existing prohibition of sex discrimination for any facility under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of GSA.”

The text of the bulletin from Turner-Roth said the GSA’s interpretation also is consistent with guidance issued by the federal Office of Personnel Management.

The bulletin is effective immediately, the GSA notice said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Louis C. LaBrecque in Washington at llabrecque@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at smcgolrick@bna.com

For More Information

Text of the bulletin is available at http://src.bna.com/hQA.

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