UPDATED FEDERAL FORMS PART 1: EEOC Additional Gender Marker Option

The Federal Government has updated some standard forms employers are probably used to seeing. In this two-part blog series, we will identify the changes in these new forms, starting first with the EEOC’s addition of a gender marker option to its voluntary self-identification process and passport applications. Next week, we will discuss the changes to Form I-9.

On March 31, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that it would be providing the option to select a nonbinary “X” gender marker during its voluntary self-identification questions, which are part of the intake process for filing a charge of discrimination. The option to mark “X” will appear in the demographic questions relating to gender in the online public portal for inquiries when filing a charge of discrimination, as well as within the Online Spanish Initial Consultation Form and Pre-Charge Inquiry Form that are sometimes used in lieu of the portal. The option to mark “X” will also be included in the EEOC’s new charge of discrimination form. In addition, the form will include the prefix “Mx” within its list of prefix options.

The EEOC will incorporate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics proposal for how to define “X,” which has two parts:

(1) “Unspecified,” which promotes privacy for individuals who prefer not to disclose their gender identity;

(2) “Another gender identity,” which promotes clarity and inclusion for those who wish to signify that they do not identify as male or female.

This policy builds off the EEOC’s enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which among other protections, shields workers from discrimination based on sex.

Similarly, beginning on April 11, 2022, all U.S. citizens will be able to select an “X” as their gender marker on their U.S. passport application(s).

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About the Author:

Chelsea Canaday is an attorney in Dickinson Wright’s Columbus office. She focuses her practice primarily in the areas of education and employment law. Chelsea can be reached at 614-591-5496 or ccanaday@dickinsonwright.com, and you can visit her bio here.