New York City sexual harassment attorneys at Leeds Brown have seen a rise in the number of cases involving the rights of transgender individuals. Did you know that New York State and New York City have some of the most comprehensive legislation protecting people from workplace and other harassment and discrimination based on gender expression? These laws explicitly prohibit discrimination and harassment of any person based on someone’s gender identity, transgender status, and gender dysphoria.
If you are a transgender or gender dysphoric individual and have experienced discrimination or harassment please contact our attorneys. No one should ever feel unsafe or be treated unfairly at work. The lawyers at Leeds Brown have a proven track record of success with a wide range of sex harassment and discrimination cases in New York City and across the nation. Our attorneys have the determination, skill, compassion and experience to advocate for your rights.
New York State calls its antidiscrimination legislation New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). New York City has human rights laws as well (NYCHRL). Under NYSHRL, it is unlawful for an employer to “refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment” or to “discriminate against an individual in compensation or in terms of conditions or privileges of employment” because of a person’s race, religion, age, color, nationality, sex, disability or marital status. For instance, an employer can not refuse to hire someone because they are from a foreign country or terminate someone’s employment because they are getting married.
New York State and New York City laws specifically protect transgender individuals and gender dysphoric individuals from discrimination and harassment. The laws apply to private and public sector employers and make up some of the most comprehensive protections in the nation.
Gender identity is now a protected category under New York City and State. This protected class includes transgender and gender dysphoric individuals. Such individuals are entitled to all of the same protection and recourse available to all other protected classes of people. What does this mean? It means that an employer may not refuse to hire or promote someone because of their gender identity. An employer may not fire someone for being transgender, harass or otherwise discriminate against him or her at work.
The New York City Human Rights Commission provides some guidance as to what discrimination under the new law might look like. The following acts are prohibited:
Failing to use someone’s preferred pronoun, name or title. For example, calling someone Mr. despite repeated requests to be called Mrs. is prohibited. Failing to use someone’s proper title because they do not conform to gender stereotypes is prohibited as well. Calling a woman Mr. because she appears stereotypically masculine would be discriminatory. An employer may not demand proof that an employee has undergone medical procedures, or evidence of a court ordered name change, before agreeing to call the employee by their preferred pronoun, name or title.
Refusing to allow individuals to use single-sex facilities and programs consistent with their gender. For example, it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to prohibit a transgender woman from using the women’s locker room or bathroom.
Sex stereotyping. An employer may not have a policy that prohibits only male workers from wearing jewelry or makeup to work.
Failing to provide benefits equally. Employers may not offer health benefits to opposite-sex spouses but not same-sex spouses.
Considering gender when a request for reasonable accommodation is made. When an employer has a policy of granting paid medical leave after a year of employment, that employer must honor the policy when the request is made by anyone who qualifies-including transgender individuals.
Discriminatory harassment. Discriminatory harassment is prohibited and includes violence, threats, cyberbullying, and intimidation based on gender identity or expression.
Retaliation against an employee. An employer is prohibited from retaliating against an individual because of a request for reasonable accommodation based on gender expression or opposition to discrimination.
New York disability discrimination law requires that an employer make a reasonable accommodation for a disabled worker. This means that if you have a disability but can perform the essential functions of a job, the employer must make a reasonable accommodation for you if it does not pose an undue hardship on the employer. This might include something such as a shift change, a desk relocation or a reassignment of some duties.
New York law states specifically that the term “disability” under New York Human Rights Law shall include gender identity and gender dysphoria. It furthermore states that all areas of the law that prohibit discrimination based on a disability, also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. The law also states that refusal to provide reasonable accommodations for someone with gender dysphoria when requested and necessary amounts to disability discrimination.
What might a reasonable accommodation be for a gender dysmorphic employee? We see many cases that involve the rest rooms. Allowing a transgender worker to use the rest room or changing/locker room of the gender they identify with may be a reasonable accommodation. An attorney can help you to determine what the laws require and whether or not your employer is taking adequate steps toward accommodating you.
New York City is one of the first in the nation to specifically protect the transgender community from workplace discrimination and harassment. While other states are enacting legislation that severely limits the rights of individuals with gender dysmorphia, New York is paving the way towards equality. Leeds Brown is proud be a law firm with New York City attorneys who represent workers who encounter all types of workplace harassment.
New York City gender discrimination and sex harassment lawyers at Leeds Brown have decades of experience protecting New York employees. We are intimately familiar with local, state and federal laws that grant individuals the right to be free from discrimination and harassment. Our New York City sex harassment attorneys have the commitment and compassion you want on your side.
We are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will gladly review your case. You may be entitled to compensation and, if so, we can help you obtain it. Contact the New York City gender discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown today. Call 1-800-585-4658.