AFL-CIO Revises Constitution to Protect Transgendered Workers

AFL-CIO Revises Constitution to Protect Transgendered Workers

On Monday, the AFL-CIO amended its constitution to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” to its objectives and principles; the constitution now says that the mission of the union is to “encourage all workers without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to share equally in the full benefits of union organization.”

“Labor has really been stepping up, and the AFL-CIO has been stepping up,” National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling said, according to Buzzfeed.

The AFL-CIO website specifically reaches out to transgender patients, which it says “have unique health care needs, including psychotherapy, hormones and surgeries. While many insurance policies cover trans health care needs, others have ‘transgender exclusions’ and won’t cover anything related to gender transition.”

The AFL-CIO also passed a resolution stating:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO removes any and all discriminatory health care exclusions directed toward transgender employees and the employee’s dependents from its health care policy and require tenants in its Washington, DC, headquarters to do the same.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO advocates for trans-gender inclusive health care for its members and members’ dependents during bargaining negotiations with employers.

It is unclear whether union membership will be pleased with the AFL-CIO leadership’s move.

This post has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly attributed Keisling’s quote to Human Rights Campaign Vice President Fred Sainz.