Senate Democrats Urge OPM to Restore Trans Employee Guidelines

Senate Democrats, led by Dianne Feinstein, want the U.S Office of Personnel Management to restore its website that had guidance that made sure transgender federal employees were treated fairly, according to Washington Blade

The website was taken down completely during the week of Thanksgiving. 

In a letter to the OPM, the Democrats expressed great concern about the guidelines that ensured transgender federal employees were treated with dignity and respect being removed and they request that it be made available immediately. I agree with this, as it is clear that transgender people are treated unfairly and cruelly frequently in the United States and around the world. 

Also in the letter, they address the fact that the original guidance "addressed common questions that agency managers and federal employees had raised with OPM, identifying issues and core concepts specific to understanding rights and fair treatment of transgender employees" while the new guidance "omits essential information, including any reference to transgender individuals, greatly diminishing OPM's ability to educate federal agencies on anti-discrimination policies and retain a productive federal workforce as diverse as the people it serves."

They also mention that many major companies such as Microsoft and IBM recognize that diversity and inclusion are good for business, while discrimination actively hurts both transgender people and company profit margins and that over 80% of Fortune 500 companies have gender identity protections. You would think that not discriminating against people and having protections in place for workers would be common sense, but it seems as if certain government agencies are seriously lacking in that department. 

The removal of the guidelines isn't all that unexpected, as the Trump administration has been consistently hostile to transgender people. However, things aren't so grim, as protections for LGBTQ employees that were put in place during the Obama era are still in effect and the OPM recognized that June is Pride Month. That being said, the Senate Democrats urge the OPM to reinstate the guidelines as to provide a safe and positive work environment for transgender employees. 

I really do wish I didn't have to write things like these, but this, unfortunately, is the reality that we live in. It is my hope that the senators are successful in getting the OPM to restore the transgender guidelines so that people can be treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Democrats hold more positions now than they did when this presidency started, but the Senate is still majority Republican, so I suppose we'll have to wait and see what happens.


h/t: Washington Blade, Senate.gov

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