According to a legal expert, a new “Orwellian” Health and Human Servicess (HHS) pronoun mandate is forcing employees to “deny reality” and violates laws protecting employees. The mandate was issued in a December 9 memo to all Health and Human Services’ employees, which demands that all HHS personnel address each other “according to their expressed gender identity.” The memo further stipulates that this directive must be followed regardless of whether or not the employee shares the same gender identity as the person they are addressing, and regardless of an individual’s sex assigned at birth.
Legal expert Helen Alvaré explained, “This is Orwellian language where you are required to deny reality, to lie.” She continued, “It may be uncomfortable for someone to go against what that person believes to be true, that there’s male and female and somehow you have to deny that.”
Alvaré detailed that the “denial of biological reality” is in direct violation of existing laws that protect employees. She noted that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX both prohibit sex discrimination in the workplace, and that “transgender ideology” adds another layer of difficulty for employees and employers. “That’s why employers are really just trying to avoid this kind of thing,” she said.
Alvaré argued that private employers should be encouraged to create their own policy on the matter, but that it should not come from the federal government, where “people can’t sue the government.” She also warned that this unenforceable mandate is “a coercive attempt to control the language that people use in the workplace in a way that is not reasonable.”