Gender identity and expression have now been added to the protected categories underNew York state's anti-discrimination law with a newly passed bill which covers employment, housing and places of public accommodation.
GENDA, or the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, protects employees againstworkplace discrimination based on the employee’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression or transgender status. This comes in addition to a New York law which already prevents workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
What Employers Need to Know
To ensure that they are in full compliance with the new legislation, NY employers will need to revise their organizations’ written anti-discrimination policies to include the new protectedcategories, as well as make sure their training programs include the updated information.
Workplace discrimination based on gender identity was already illegal in New York City. In 2018, legislation was introduced that would prevent discrimination that was based on "actual or perceived sex, gender identity, and gender expression including a person's actual or perceived gender-related self-image, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth."
It is becoming more common for people to identify as "gender-nonbinary", where they identify as neither male nor female. New York City has now recognized these individuals as being covered by the city’s protective legislation. Employers should consider this regulation too, as policies and training programs are revised so that all populations are included in formal guidelines.