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The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 describes prohibited personnel practices. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency that receives and investigates complaints alleging prohibited personnel practices, including those involving discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Two provisions prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(1) parallels Title VII's prohibitions against workplace discrimination based on sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity). OSC often defers to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and related agency processes when an individual brings a claim under this section.
5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(10) prohibits agencies from discriminating against employees based on conduct that does not adversely affect job performance. This prohibition has long been recognized as barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
When individuals believe that they have been subjected to a prohibited personnel practice based on sexual orientation or gender identity, they may seek assistance from the OSC.
Factsheets and Guides
Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment: A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections, and Responsibilities (OPM, EEOC, OSC, MSPB, June 2015)
Federal Protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Individuals (2014)
The Unique Role of the Office of Special Counsel in Protecting the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Employees in the Federal Workplace (PowerPoint presentation, 2014)
Sexual Orientation and the Federal Workplace: Policy and Perception (MSPB study, May 2014)
OSC Gender Transition Policy (June 2016)
Memorandum of Understanding Between U.S. Office of Special Counsel And Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (January 2014)
Prohibited Personnel Practice Reports
Report of Prohibited Personnel Practice, OSC File No. MA-11-3846 ("Jane Doe " - Tamara Lusardi), dated August 28, 2014
OSC Issues Gender Transition Policy Amidst LGBT Education Efforts,” June 14, 2016
Recent OSC Efforts to Stop LGBT Discrimination in the Federal Workplace, June 24, 2015