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New guidance for non-discriminatory practices released by OPM

The United States Office of Personnel Management updated its guideline for non-discriminatory practices in 2018. The policy change removes specific guidelines affecting transgender employees and addresses those issues within the general anti-discrimination policies. According to OPM, the purpose of the change was to provide guidance and answer questions regarding the diversity of workers within the federal government. They encourage management and employees to contact OPM with any further questions.

Confidentiality and privacy are crucial components to OPM's policies. The privacy of employees is vital to maintaining a workforce that includes transgender people as well as workers from other minority groups. That means each agency needs to make proactive steps to ensure their employee records are protected. This includes any medical records and any work history files. All record keeping should comply with the Privacy Act.

Hiring practices are also an important part of OPM's guidelines. Candidate selection and interviewing should always be carried out free of discrimination based on a wide range of factors including gender identity. Hiring managers should also be consistent when the definition of sex is applied. OPM intends all of its policies to be consistent with language in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as spelled out in a memo drafted by the Attorney General in October, 2018.

Victims of workplace discrimination by the federal government or other organization may have the right to compensation for their financial losses as well as pain and suffering. Individuals affected should seek counsel from an attorney to find out if pursuing legal action is in their best interests. In some cases, the government or private company will settle, but going to court may be necessary. Many attorneys will not require a fee unless they obtain compensation for their client.

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