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Transgender woman claims bias in Ga. unemployment benefits

A transgender auto mechanic claims the Georgia Department of Labor is discriminating against her by asking her to repay unemployment benefits she began receiving after she was fired by Credit Nation, a used car dealership targeting customers with credit problems.

Jennifer Chavez claims Credit Nation unfairly fired her for a minor first-time offense after she transitioned from male to female. The Georgia Department of Labor initially agreed and awarded her unemployment benefits, according to recent reports by CBS Atlanta News.

The Department of Labor has since reversed its decision and is requiring Chavez to pay back the $5,000 in benefits she had received. Chavez argues that the decision is discriminatory and biased based on her transgender status, claiming the state agency was also slow to acknowledge her name change as well.

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Family & Medical Leave Act to include gay parents

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis

In a move praised by LGBT groups, the U.S. Department of Labor announced June 22 that it would expand the definition of “son and daughter” to make more gay families eligible for coverage under the Family & Medical Leave Act to care for sick children.

“No one who loves and nurtures a child day-in and day-out should be unable to care for that child when he or she falls ill. … The Labor Department’s action today sends a clear message to workers and employers alike: All families, including LGBT families, are protected by the FMLA,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.