Michigan governor expands discrimination protections

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has issued an executive directive forbidding discrimination in employment in the state’s Executive Branch based on gender identity or expression. The order covers nearly 50,000 employees. Public employees in Michigan were already protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. On the national level, Congressional leaders have been locked in a battle over whether to include gender identity in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation. However, states are moving forward with providing transgender workers with protection from discrimination in the workplace. Twelve states and Washington D.C. forbid discrimination against public and private employees based on gender identity and four more states protect public employees from such discrimination. Michigan is now one of six states that have an executive order, administrative order or personnel regulation prohibiting discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity (“Statewide Employment Laws & Policies,” Human Rights Campaign). For more information, read CPA’s GLBT Anti-Discrimination policy brief and model legislation. [AP]