The five-member panel comprising the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has declared that transgender individuals are protected against discrimination in employment by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under the "sex" provision of that law. The ruling was made April 20 but not released until Monday evening (April 23, 2012). The parties involved have 30 days to appeal.

The opinion came in the case of Mia Macy, who was first offered employment by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives crime lab and then saw the offer withdrawn after she announced her intention to change her gender from male to female. After the withdrawal of the offer, when she was told that the position had been eliminated due to budgetary concerns, she learned that another person had been hired to fill the job.

The ruling declares:

[T]he Commission hereby clarifies that claims of discrimination based on transgender status, also referred to as claims of discrimination based on gender identity, are cognizable under Title VII's sex discrimination prohibition.

The EEOC opinion was issued without objection by the five-member bipartisan commission.  It will apply to all EEOC enforcement and litigation including all 53 field offices and be binding on all federal agencies and departments.