The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (EO Act) protects transgender and intersex people from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity in a number of areas of public life. In addition to sport and work, these include education, provision of goods and services, accommodation and clubs.
Discrimination on the basis of gender identity
It is also unlawful to ask a person to specify their gender identity where there is no legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for needing this information (s 107).
'Gender identity' is defined in s 4 of the EO Act as the identification by a person of one sex (or of indeterminate sex) as a member of another sex on a genuine basis. This identification could be by:
- assuming characteristics of the other sex, whether by medical intervention, style of dressing or otherwise; or
- by the person living, or seeking to live, as a member of the other sex.
The rights of transgender and intersex people are also protected under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
Transgender people and sport
Transgender people at work
The guideline explains that it is unlawful to discriminate against job applicants and employees because they are transgender (ss 16 and 18). The only exception is if there is a 'genuine occupational requirement' for employees to be of a particular sex (s 26).
If you are in the Victorian Government and would like further information about your responsibilities under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, please contact:
Managing Principal Solicitor