At General Assembly, we’re in the business of empowering people to pursue work they love and careers that allow them to realize their passions. We’re also big believers that when people bring their whole selves to work — and all the identities, experiences, and ideas that make them unique — they’re more productive, engaged, and innovative.
Apparently, the Department of Justice doesn’t agree. On the heels of the president’s surprise ban on transgender service members in the military, on July 26 the Department of Justice issued a brief that states that Title VII — the law that protects workers from sex discrimination — does not extend to the LGBTQ+ community.
There have never been federal workplace protections for LGBTQ+ people, so this is not a new policy; today, you can be fired in 28 states if you’re lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and in 30 states if you’re transgender. However, this marks a dramatic reversal from the DOJ’s approach to discrimination cases during the previous administration, and is a surprising move for a number of reasons.
We are proud of the diversity of the GA community, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone who comes through our doors knows our commitment to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all staff and learners (you can read our diversity and inclusion statement here). We also know that this takes intention and work, and is a process of constant learning and improvement.
We stand in firm opposition to this and other policies that allow the very places where people should feel most empowered to be their full selves — where they learn and work — to tolerate any form of discrimination. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community on this and every day.
You can learn more about the state of workplace protections for LGBTQ+ individuals on Out & Equal’s website. To find more about the organizations working on this and other issues, check out the ACLU LGBT Rights Project, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.