Union Claims Biden Admin Broke Labor Laws With New Transgender Policy

Union Claims Biden Admin Broke Labor Laws With New Transgender Policy

A union that represents employees of the Social Security Administration has called on the Biden administration to rescind a new policy that it claims forces political views on members. The policy, which pertains to transgender employees, mandates the use of preferred pronouns, a move the union views as excessive.

On Friday, the American Federation of Government Employees Local 2505 filed a Union-Management Grievance challenging a new “pronoun policy” introduced by the SSA, which they argue forces political views on its members. The policy, formally known as the “Policy on Prohibiting Discrimination, Including Harassment, Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression,” was announced on Wednesday and is commonly referred to as the Pronoun Policy.

According to the union, which represents 600 low-level employees in Oklahoma and Arkansas, the policy has resulted in changes to restroom access, dress code, and the introduction of a new form requiring employees to indicate their name, gender identity, and preferred pronouns, the Daily Wire reports.

“All of the changes are violations of Article 1, Section 2 as they changed existing terms and conditions of employment,” the grievance said. “Having made these changes without advanced notice and the opportunity to bargain, in addition to SSA violating 5 USC 71, SSA also violated Article 1, Section 2.”

According to the grievance, the new pronoun policy violates employees’ freedom of religion and free speech rights. The policy mandates that workers address individuals by their preferred pronouns, which creates a hostile work environment for employees who do not agree due to political or religious reasons, the outlet continued.

“This new policy will create a chilling effect on them and is essentially forcing them to agree with this political view in spite of their own personal political or religious beliefs,” it added.

On March 1, SSA Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi revealed the policy to employees under the title, “Building an Equitable and Inclusive Culture: Gender Identity.”

“Soon, you will receive notice of a mandatory training to help you prepare for full implementation of the policy, which will happen on March 31, 2023. Available starting March 2, this training will increase your knowledge of using pronouns and gender-neutral language and supporting employees and colleagues in the workplace,” the email said.

The Daily Wire obtained the 27-page policy, which includes definitions of terms like agender, bigender, cisgender, gender diverse, genderfluid, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and two-spirit. The policy outlines several ways in which the agency will support employees who wish to transition to one of those categories.

“The agency makes note that every transition is different, and some employees may want none of these changes, all of these changes, some of these changes, or additional changes not listed in these procedures,” it said.

It also provided a 19-part form to be filled out in order to manage a staffer’s gender transition as well as an email template for managers to use when announcing an employee’s new gender. It says: “The agency supports [PROPER NAME] in their transition/affirmation… If you are interested in learning more about how SSA supports gender transition/affirmation, I invite you to refer to [insert link to policy/COSS statement of choice].”

The policy also states that transgender employees are permitted the bathroom of their choice, and that “continued intentional misuse of an employee’s name or pronoun could… lead to disciplinary action.”

“At meetings, employees, managers, and supervisors can introduce themselves with the pronouns they use, which may prompt others at the meeting to share the pronouns they use, e.g., ‘Hello, my name is Michael. My pronouns are he/him.’ Additionally, employees, managers, and supervisors should consider including their proper names, pronunciations of their names, and pronouns in their email signatures, e.g., Brianne (Bree-anne) Doe (they/theirs),” it adds.

According to union local president Ralph Dejuliis, two employees have already requested a religious exemption from the policy. He told The Daily Wire that the agency, under Kijakazi, is being distracted by social justice initiatives and not focusing on the basic issues that are hindering it from efficiently serving needy Americans.

“SSA has already put out a video for all the employees to watch on gender transition. How many people have been working on this… when it takes six months to get an initial disability decision?” he said.

Dejuliis, who identifies as politically liberal and progressive, stated that he considers it improper to impose any kind of political beliefs on individuals through a government job.

“It’s forcing everyone to have a liberal socially work position,” he said. “I represent people in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Half the people I represent have concealed carry permits. They are not woke.”

The policy has “a name for people who don’t like gays and transgender: transphobic. You make up a special name to demonize people? Why don’t you call me sinner because I don’t go to your church?” he said.


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