Failure to Provide Goods and Services Based on Transgender Status
The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based on transgender status. Under this law, gender includes actual or perceived sex, as well as gender identity, appearance, expression, behavior, and self-image, regardless of whether these vary from what is traditionally associated with the legal sex assigned to someone at birth. If you face a failure to provide goods or services based on transgender status in a New York City establishment, you may have the basis to file a claim or civil lawsuit. Our New York City transgender discrimination lawyers can advise you in this situation.Failure to Provide Goods and Services Based on Transgender Status
Transgender refers to someone whose gender identity or gender expression is not traditionally associated with the sex that they were assigned at birth. Somebody who identifies as androgynous, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, or transitioning male to female or female to male can also be transgender. The Transgender Rights Bill was passed in 2002 in order to expand gender-based protections in New York City and make sure that people whose gender and self-image did not completely match the sex assigned to them at birth would still be protected against discrimination and harassment. Many transgender people face constant and potentially life-threatening discrimination in a wide range of life activities — in everything from going to the doctor to going out to eat.
Under the New York City Human Rights Law, it is illegal for a public accommodation to discriminate against you based on your transgender status. Discrimination occurs when somebody is treated less well than others due to being transgender. Harassment motivated by transgender status is a common form of discrimination. However, discrimination can also take place when a public accommodation refuses to provide goods or services because you are transgender.
It is illegal for public accommodations, including their owners and employees or agents, to deny you goods or services due to your actual or perceived status as a transgender person. It is also illegal for them to communicate an intent to deny goods or services of the public accommodation to you on this basis. Public accommodations include many different types of establishments under New York City law, including stores, banks, hospitals, dental practices, hotels, and theaters.
Under New York City law, covered entities such as public accommodations should use the title and pronoun that you prefer, regardless of what you look like, your medical history, your anatomy, your gender expression, or the sex indicated on your identification. You should not be denied goods or services because you ask that an establishment address you in the way that you prefer. For example, a doctor cannot refuse to take you as a patient because you are transgender and have asked that he call you by a particular name. The doctor also cannot condition his use of your preferred name on getting a court-ordered name change or providing identification in that name. For example, if your preferred name is Anne, even though your identification states that your name is Anthony, an employee of a public accommodation cannot refuse to call you Anne when providing services.
Additionally, under city law, you should be allowed to use programs and facilities of public accommodations that are consistent with your gender, irrespective of the sex that you were assigned at birth, what you look like, your anatomy, or your medical history. For example, you should be able to participate in a women's yoga class at a gym that is held out to the public if that is the sex with which you identify. It is not legal for the public accommodation to deny you access to a program or facility because some other customer objects to sharing these with a transgender or gender-nonconforming person, or because you do not conform to sex stereotypes.Take Legal Action with the Assistance of a New York City Attorney
At Phillips & Associates, our experienced attorneys help clients with many different kinds of public accommodation discrimination cases, including a failure to provide goods or services based on transgender status. If you believe that you have been a victim of transgender discrimination or harassment, contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form for a free consultation. Our attorneys also handle employment litigation in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, as well as in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties and New Jersey.
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