Transgender Law Center

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Transgender-law-center
Headquarters Location: San Francisco, CA
Founded: 2002


Mission: Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.


Tags: national, lgbt equality and support, 2012, legal, legal assistance


Transgender-law-center
Story: Groundbreaking! Federal Agency Rules Transgender Employees Protected by Sex Discrimination Law

In a landmark ruling on April 20, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that Title VII, the federal sex discrimination law, protects employees who are discriminated… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) uses legal advocacy to advance the legal protection of transgender individuals. Their legal victories have made important strides for the movement as a whole, as well as a huge impact on the many individual legal advocacy cases they take on. Their work also helps to increase visibility of the transgender community and the issues affecting them.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Transgender-law-center Masen Davis. Masen Davis is a native Midwesterner who has lived the California Dream since 1995. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. Prior to coming to TLC in 2007, Masen spent six years at United Way of Greater Los Angeles where he managed allocations for 194 agencies, oversaw education/youth… See full bio.


Transparency Information
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Financial Data


From the Nonprofit
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Contact Info
E-Mail:
info AT transgenderlawcenter.org
Phone:
415.865.0176
Facebook:
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Address:
870 Market Street, Suite 400
 
San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Twitter:
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Transgender-law-center Story: Groundbreaking! Federal Agency Rules Transgender Employees Protected by Sex Discrimination Law

In a landmark ruling on April 20, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that Title VII, the federal sex discrimination law, protects employees who are discriminated against because they are transgender. In its unprecedented decision, the EEOC concluded that “intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination ‘based on … sex’ and such discrimination … violates Title VII.” The EEOC is the federal agency that interprets and enforces federal employment discrimination law, and today’s decision marks the first time it has offered clear guidance on this issue.

The ruling came as a result of a discrimination complaint filed by Transgender Law Center on behalf of Mia Macy, a transgender woman who was denied a job as a ballistics technician at the Walnut Creek, California laboratory of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Ms. Macy, a veteran and former police detective, initially applied for the position as male and was told that she virtually was guaranteed the job. Ms. Macy was exceptionally qualified for the position, having a military and law enforcement background and being one of the few people in the country who had already been trained on ATF’s ballistics computer system. After disclosing her gender transition mid-way through the hiring process, Ms. Macy was told that funding for that position had been suddenly cut. She later learned that someone else had been hired for the job.

In response to the EEOC’s decision, Ms. Macy stated, “As a veteran and a police officer, I’ve worked my whole career to uphold the values of fairness and equality. Although the discrimination I experienced was painful both personally and financially, and led to the loss of my family’s home to foreclosure, I’m proud to be a part of this groundbreaking decision confirming that our nation’s employment discrimination laws protect all Americans, including transgender people. I’m grateful for the help of Transgender Law Center, which believed in me from the start and helped guide me through this process. No one should be denied a job just for being who they are.”

The decision today follows a clear trend by federal courts in recent years holding that transgender people are protected by Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination. But it has even broader implications than a court decision, because the EEOC is the agency charged with interpreting and enforcing federal discrimination laws throughout the nation. The EEOC’s decision will impact every employer, public and private, throughout the nation. The decision is entitled to significant deference by the courts, and will be binding on all federal agencies.

Transgender Law Center’s Legal Director Ilona Turner explained, “It’s incredibly significant that the Commission has finally put its stamp of approval on the common-sense understanding that discrimination against transgender people is a form of sex discrimination. That’s true whether it’s understood as discrimination because of the person’s gender identity, or because they have changed their sex, or because they don’t conform to other people’s stereotypes of how men and women ought to be.”

Noreen Farrell, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates, a legal organization that has been fighting for women’s rights since 1974, also celebrated the ruling. She stated, “Today’s decision helps our discrimination laws fulfill their purpose of ensuring that no one loses a job based on sex. Women have fought for decades to be judged in the workplace by our abilities, not by our sex, gender identity, or gender stereotypes. We are thrilled that the EEOC has confirmed that Title VII protects transgender people from job discrimination, thanks to the work of Transgender Law Center.”

Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center’s Executive Director, added, “With so many barriers to gainful employment in our society, we can’t let discrimination be one of them. The EEOC’s decision ensures that every transgender person in the United States will have legal recourse when faced with employment discrimination. Having the protection of federal sex-discrimination law is especially critical for transgender people who live in the 34 states that lack transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. This is a game changer for transgender America.”

Expert Reviews of Transgender Law Center

Evidence of Impact Summary:

The Transgender Law Center (TLC) uses legal advocacy to advance the legal protection of transgender individuals. Their legal victories have made important strides for the movement as a whole, as well as a huge impact on the many individual legal advocacy cases they take on. Their work also helps to increase visibility of the transgender community and the issues affecting them.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is built on a foundation of strong and well-planned operations and decision making. The organization is strategic in their program and intervention choices. TLC also has strong leadership from the Executive Director level down. The organization is also great at building strong collaborative relations with others.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

The Transgender Law Center (TLC) would improve by having a stronger presence in Washington D.C. so that they can have more influence at the Transgender Law Center (TLC) federal level. The organization could also improve by communicating their work more effectively. Lastly, TLC could learn to better engage their allies.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Litigation

N
Impact litigation, advocacy, and public education on transgender issues that work cross-issue. For example, the Center's work in the area of criminal justice and transgender rights has been groundbreaking and wholly effective to ensure transgender individuals are respected and can live lives free from violence.
N
TLC has won some important legal victories for the transgender community. However, I suspect that most of their impact is on the individual level, providing legal advocacy for individuals who are in desperate need of help in asserting their rights.
N
Their impact can be seen in the rapid growth of the organization on the national level and their legal victories.

Legal Support

N
Their impact is evident in the successes of the organization in advancing legal protections for transgender people, with Macy v. Holder as the most recent example.

increasing Visibility

N
Their impact can be seen in the increased visibility of issues affecting transgender individuals and provided new resources to the field.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Great Collaboration

N
They have strong operations and the ability to collaborate with other nonprofits working to advance these issues.

Strategic Operations

N
The organization has grown substantially in the last few years and has managed the growth well. This speaks to management's abilities and commitment to having an effective organization for the transgender community. Transgender Law Center's direct services work also helps to inform its policy work.
N
TLC's leadership makes good choices on where to show up and speak on behalf of the transgender community. They play well with others.

Strong Leadership

N
They have strong leadership, effective community building, broad communications, and broad education work.
N
They have strong leadership from the Executive Director level on down. They also have a clear mission.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Location

N
Transgender Law Center's lack of an office in Washington, D.C. limits their ability to be a voice for the transgender community in the federal government and Congress. An office in D.C. would position the organization to leverage its understanding of the needs of transgender people to influence other LGBT organizations and federal policy more effectively.

Improve Communication

N
I'd like to see more communication from them, so we can all keep better track of what they're doing.

Increase Engagement

N
They will at some point have to figure out how to better engage allies.


Leadership

Transgender-law-center
Masen Davis
Executive Director
Masen Davis is a native Midwesterner who has lived the California Dream since 1995. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. Prior to coming to TLC in 2007, Masen spent six years at United Way of Greater Los Angeles where he managed allocations for 194 agencies, oversaw education/youth grantmaking; and raised more than $5.8 million through foundation and corporate giving. Masen has been an activist in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality since 1990. His experience includes advocating for LGBT survivors of hate crimes, domestic violence and police misconduct; consulting with education and social service providers to help develop and implement best practice standards for transgender youth; and presenting diversity trainings for police departments in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In 2002, Masen co-founded FTM Alliance of Los Angeles, the first Southern California nonprofit dedicated to advocacy within the female-to-male transgender community. He has served in leadership roles for many organizations, including FTM Alliance (Board President, 2002-07); City of West Hollywood’s Transgender Task Force (Vice Chair, 2001-03); National Center for Transgender Equality (Vice Chair, 2005-2007), and Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues (Board Member, 2007-Present). His work on behalf of transgender equality has earned him awards from the National Association of Social Workers, International Foundation for Gender Education, and UCLA. Masen received his Masters of Social Welfare with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from UCLA, and Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University.

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