New York Codifies Ban against Gender Identity or Expression Discrimination

On January 25, 2019, New York State enacted the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (“GENDA”) prohibiting employers from discharging, refusing to hire or discriminating against an individual on the basis of gender identity or expression. The new law defines gender identity or expression as “a person’s actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression or other gender-related characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including, but not limited to, the status of being transgender.” While GENDA codifies the prohibition against gender identity or expression discrimination, such protections previously existed under the New York State Human Rights Law’s prohibition against sex discrimination. In light of GENDA’s enactment, employers should review their equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment policies and, if necessary, revise them to include gender identity and expression as protected categories.

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For questions regarding New York State’s Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, please contact any of the attorneys on our Labor & Employment Practice Team.