NYC: New Guidance On Gender Identity Employment Discrimination And Harassment

Yesterday, the NYC Commission on Human Rights published a broad, new enforcement guidance related to gender identity discrimination and harassment in, among other things, employment.

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This guidance is a must reading for employment attorneys and employers given the definitions and prohibited acts and conduct which may be new to many, and more comprehensive, and the imposition of fines of up to $250,000 for willful or malicious conduct.

A few important points from the guidance:

“It is unlawful to refuse to hire, promote, or fire an individual because of a person’s actual or perceived gender, including actual or perceived status as a transgender person. It is also unlawful to set different terms and conditions of employment because of an employee’s gender. Examples of terms and conditions of employment include work assignments, employee benefits, and keeping the workplace free from harassment.”

“Gender discrimination under the NYCHRL includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status.  The definition of gender also encompasses discrimination against someone for being intersex.”

“Gender-based harassment can be a single or isolated incident of disparate treatment or repeated acts or behavior. Disparate treatment can manifest in harassment when the incident or behavior creates an environment or reflects or fosters a culture or atmosphere of sex stereotyping, degradation, humiliation, bias, or objectification.”


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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]