Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment

There are a number of administrative and legal protections available to federal workers who believe they have been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including:

  •  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  •  Civil Service Reform Act of 1978; and/or
  •  Other Procedures.

Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination protects persons who have been discriminated against based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Further, civil service laws prohibit certain employment decisions or personnel actions when the decisions or actions are based on conduct that does not adversely affect job performance, including sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, individual agencies and unions may establish procedures to resolve disputes, including complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

This resource guide provides basic and general information about these various procedures and the circumstances under which federal applicants and employees may be able to take a particular course of action. Under some circumstances, more than one procedure may be available, and the choice of one procedure may preclude the use of others.