The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it will promote greater equity and inclusion for members of the LGBTQI+ community by giving individuals the option to select a nonbinary “X” gender marker during the voluntary self-identification questions that are part of the intake process for filing a charge of discrimination.
This announcement comes on Transgender Day of Visibility, which recognizes the resilience and accomplishments of the transgender community.
“The addition of a nonbinary gender marker to the EEOC’s charge intake process will be an important step to promote greater inclusion for members of the LGBTQI+ community,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “To advance our mission to prevent and remedy employment discrimination, we must serve all workers, including those who do not identify as male or female. Our public-facing forms should make clear that we respect that diversity.”
Recognizing that the binary construction of gender as either “male” or “female” does not reflect the full range of gender identities, the EEOC will add an option to mark “X” during two critical stages of the intake and charge filing process:
- The EEOC will update the voluntary demographic questions relating to gender in the online public portal that members of the public use to submit inquiries about filing a charge of discrimination, as well as the Online Spanish Initial Consultation Form and Pre-Charge Inquiry Form that are sometimes used in lieu of the portal.
- The EEOC will also modify its charge of discrimination form to include “Mx.” in the list of prefix options.
EEOC Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels said, “Sexual orientation and gender identity are core aspects of every individual’s identity. The EEOC’s announcement that it will add a nonbinary gender marker to these forms will ensure that the identities of all those who come to our agency for assistance are acknowledged and embraced.”
The White House released a fact sheet earlier today that summarizes activities across the federal government to introduce a nonbinary “X” gender marker.
The EEOC will incorporate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) proposal for how to define “X” in a way that promotes clarity and inclusion, as well as safety and privacy for individuals. NCHS’s proposed definition of “X,” based on user testing performed earlier this year and summarized in a fact sheet issued today, has two parts: (1) “unspecified,” which promotes privacy for individuals who prefer not to disclose their gender identity; and (2) “another gender identity,” which promotes clarity and inclusion for those who wish to signify that they do not identify as male or female.