- - Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is going into business with two other top officials from the George W. Bush administration.

Mr. Gates will join an international consulting firm headed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley.

Mr. Gates left his Pentagon job last year. He was the only senior member of the Bush administration who stayed on to work for President Obama, a Democrat. Mr. Gates has described himself as a Republican.

When he left, Mr. Gates said he wanted to write books and relax at his home in Washington state.

The new firm, to be called RiceHadleyGates, is based in California and Washington, D.C.

EEOC

Agency rules transgender people protected from bias

The agency that enforces the federal job discrimination laws has for the first time ruled that transgender people are protected from bias in the workplace.

In a groundbreaking decision late last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said a refusal to hire or otherwise discriminate on the basis of gender identity is by definition sex discrimination under federal law.

While some federal courts have reached the same conclusion in recent years, employment law experts say the EEOC decision sets a national standard of enforcement that offers employers clear guidance on the issue.

“This decision is important because the EEOC is the agency with lead authority to interpret and enforce the nation’s employment rights laws,” said Jennifer Pizer, legal director of the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy.

The case involved a California woman who claimed she was denied a contractor job with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after the contractor learned she had undergone a procedure to change her gender from male to female.

EEOC spokeswoman Justine Lisser said the unanimous ruling from the five-member agency does not create a new cause of action. It clarifies that charges of gender stereotyping are considered claims of sex discrimination under existing law.

CONNECTICUT

Democratic governor signs bill to repeal death penalty

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