On May 27, 2011, the federal Office of Personnel Management issued guidelines to federal agencies regarding transgendered employees, i.e., those who are in transition from one gender to another. They must “all be treated with dignity and respect” consistent with the government’s policy of providing a discrimination-free workplace. 


The "guidance" defines and describes "gender identityas "the individual’s internal sense of being male or female.  Gender identity is generally determined in the early years of an individual’s life and, if different from the individual’s physical gender, may result in increasing psychological and emotional discomfort and pain.  The way an individual expresses his or her gender identity is frequently called ‘gender expression,’ and may or may not conform to social stereotypes associated with a particular gender."


The "guidance" defines and describes "transgender" as "people with a gender identity that is different from the sex assigned to them at birth.  Someone who was assigned the male sex at birth but who identifies as female is a transgender woman.  Likewise, a person assigned the female sex at birth but who identifies as male is a transgender man.  Some individuals who would fit this definition of transgender do not identify themselves as such, and identify simply as men and women, consistent with their gender identity.  The guidance discussed in this memorandum applies whether or not a particular individual self-identifies as transgender."


Federal agencies are required to ensure that their policies and practices forbid discrimination on the basis of gender identity or perceived gender non-conformity, and that dress codes and bathroom access are consistent with the employee’s new gender. The agencies are permitted to allow a “reasonable temporary compromise” where an employee is in transition from one gender to another.