NYC Issues Transgender Discrimination Guidance

Written by Jamie Lang

On December 21, 2015, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the agency that enforces New York City's Human Rights Law, announced new guidelines that clarify the protections afforded transgender and gender non-confirming individuals under the City's Human Rights Law. Since 2002, the Human Rights Law has provided protection to people whose "gender and self-image do not fully accord with the legal sex assigned to them at birth." It applies to employers, landlords, and business owners in New York City. The new guidelines illustrate that New York City's law offers greater protections to transgender and gender non-conforming individuals than other large cities like Washington, DC and San Francisco.

In the guidelines, the Commission provides examples of what constitutes a violation under the law and offers guidance to employers and landlords on implementing new policies that protect transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Examples included:

The Commission also announced the penalties for violations of the law, which it had not previously articulated. Violations of the law can result in civil penalties of up to $125,000, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct. The law does not limit the amount of compensatory damages that may be awarded.

For further information on the Commission's guidance on this issue, please contact the author of this article or your attorney at Clifton Budd & DeMaria, LLP.

About the Author
Jamie Lang
Senior Associate
Jamie Lang joined the firm in February 2013. She represents and counsels employers in all aspects of labor and employment...
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