The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) report found that Army civilian employee Tamara Lusardi endured a hostile work environment after transitioning from male to female in 2012. Ms. Lusardi and was restricted to using a single stall restroom, and it was out of service, she used the woman’s room but reprimanded by her superiors and prohibited from using it in the future.
According to OSC’s prohibited personnel practice (PPP) report,
“OSC finds that the acts at issue were sufficiently frequent, pervasive, and humiliating to constitute discriminatory harassment“ and that Ms. Lusardi “experienced these effects on a daily basis for many months, and they served as a constant reminder that she was deprived of equal status, respect, and dignity in the workplace.”
The Army agreed to resolve the matter by providing remedial training on PPPs for supervisors, particularly on prohibitions against gender identity discrimination. The Army also agreed to OSC’s recommendation to provide workplace diversity and sensitivity training, with a specific focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, to all employees at the Army organization where Ms. Lusardi works. The Army’s agreement to voluntarily resolve this matter does not constitute an admission that it committed a PPP against Ms. Lusardi.
“I am so grateful that justice is finally being served,” said Ms. Lusardi. “As a disabled veteran, I take great pride in my role protecting our soldiers from harm. Like anyone else, I just want the freedom to be myself at work. I hope my case and this decision will help other transgender people feel safe enough to bring their full authentic selves to work. This report makes clear that we don’t have to put up with being mistreated on the job just because of who we are.”
“I applaud Ms. Lusardi for standing up not only for her rights, but for those of all federal employees,” said Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner. “The Army deserves credit for seeking to right the wrongs that Ms. Lusardi faced and for creating a more welcoming environment for its LGBT employees.”