Shea, a transgender woman, applied to be a correctional officer at a south western state correctional institution. Shea passed all required exams and fitness tests, and the agency’s recruiters knew Shea was transgender. When it came time for her to enroll in the correctional officer academy however, Shea was informed that she could not enroll because her “anatomy was not clearly male or female.” In other words, because Shea had not yet had a sexual reassignment surgery, she was prohibited from working as a C.O. in the men’s facility where she was scheduled to start work. She was also prohibited from working as a C.O. at a women’s state prison. Shea mediated the dispute with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as discrimination based on gender identity is illegal.
Gender Identity Watch supports this decision, as discrimination based on gender identity or sex stereotypes is sex discrimination and is unlawful under Title VII.