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Proposed Federal Gender Definitions

Proposed Federal Gender Definitions
Posted on Thursday, November 1, 2018 by Bruce Gillis

According to a recent New York Times article, the Trump Administration is seeking to add a legal definition of gender under Title IX.


The New York Times quotes a memo to the Departments of Education, Justice, Labor, and Health and Human Services, seeking to have them adopt the proposed definition in their regulations. The administration’s definition would narrow the definition of gender to a biological status determined at birth.

During the Obama Administration, the definition of gender was loosened, defining gender as an individual’s choice and not strictly limited to the sex assigned at birth.

As several states have modified their driver’s licenses and birth certificate procedures to allow for the issuing of such identifications with Male, Female, and Unknown/Undisclosed/Non-Binary gender options, this will undoubtedly create additional challenges as individuals and employers alike navigate this sensitive topic where individual perspectives, corporate policy, state and federal laws don’t all align.

This federal position may complicate some employers’ plans to align their corporate gender recognition with their employees’ definitions and align their employees’ gender with the state issued identifications, such as driver’s licenses and birth certificates.

As this issue continues to evolve, at the state and federal levels and within the courts, employers will need to plan their next steps and employee communications appropriately.

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Bruce Gillis Head of Compliance Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. View All Posts