Guidance Regarding Gender Identity and Expression Discrimination Under the NYCHRL
New York City Lawyers Fighting for Employee Rights
In December 2015, the New York City Commission (“the Commission”) on Human Rights released a document providing guidance to employers, businesses, and housing regarding the protections provided under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) relating to gender identity and expression discrimination. In general, this law prohibits gender–based discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. This discrimination includes discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived sex/gender. The NYCHRL includes discrimination based on transgender status, gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression. Despite the advances that New York City has made in requiring equal treatment for individuals of any sex, faith, race, gender, or gender identity, there are many parties that still take unlawful discriminatory actions against them. At Phillips & Associates, our dedicated team of New York City sexual orientation discrimination attorneys understands how stressful and challenging this situation can be for an employee. We can provide you with the personal and compassionate legal representation that you deserve.
Understanding Your Protections under the Human Rights Law
In the guidance document, the Commission discussed the New York City Council’s 2002 passage of the Transgender Rights bill, which provided new protections for transgender individuals against discrimination based on their sexual orientation and identity. According to the measure, transgender individuals still face extremely high rates of discrimination, including prejudices against an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. The guidance makes it clear that discrimination under the NYCHRL “includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status.” Discrimination occurs when an individual receives treatment that is inferior to the treatment received by others because of his or her gender.
The guidance also makes it clear that harassment against an individual based on his or her gender is encompassed within the NYCHRL’s definition of discrimination. An example of such harassment could be the refusal to use the individual’s preferred name, or the gender pronoun that conforms to the individual’s gender identity, such as him/her or Mr./Ms. Each individual enjoys the right to have other individuals use his or her preferred name, regardless of whether the individual’s legal name conforms with the chosen name. Additionally, under the NYCHRL, individuals must be allowed to access same-sex bathrooms that conform to his or her gender identity, regardless of the sex he or she was assigned at birth, and regardless of his or her appearance. Grooming policies and dress codes may also be a violation if they impose different requirements for individuals based on sex or gender.
The Commission on Human Rights is vested with overseeing and enforcing the NYCHRL’s provisions. If you believe that your rights under the NYCHRL have been violated, you may file a complaint with the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau within one year from the date of the discrimination, or you may bring a legal action in New York State Supreme Court within three years of the discrimination.
Contact a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Attorney in New York City
At Phillips & Associates, our New York City sexual orientation discrimination lawyers have provided legal representation to victims of gender identity and expression discrimination throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Our gender discrimination lawyers have experience standing up to big companies, and we know what it takes to assert your rights at each step of the process. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
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