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.