News & Events


BOP NEWSLETTER • October 2022

Gender Dysphoria Covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In Williams v. Kincaid, No. 21-2030 (4th Cir. Aug. 16, 2022), a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that Gender Dysphoria is not excluded from the broad definition of “disability” protected under the ADA.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, Gender Dysphoria refers to “psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity.” And according to the Williams decision, gender dysphoria, which causes “clinically significant distress” and other disabling symptoms, can be a disability covered by the ADA. 

The Williams decision is controlling in the Fourth Circuit, which covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. However, employers across the country should take note of the decision and understand that the reasoning of the Williams court could be adopted in their jurisdictions.