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Employment Discrimination Lawyers Protect Transgender Rights

Attorneys in New York City, representing employees in sex discrimination matters, have seen a growing number of cases involving workers who are transgender. It is becoming more and more apparent that gender expression, gender identity, and transgender status are individual characteristics that many people use as the basis to discriminate and harass, especially in the workplace. As we learn more about these characteristics and the bias and mistreatment they can lead to, new protections have been implemented to prohibit such conduct and behavior in the workplace.  Transgender workers can pursue recourse when employers and co-workers are responsible for unlawful discriminatory acts.

New York City has long been a leader in protecting the rights of employees. In 2002, when the City Council passed the Transgender Rights Bill, it expanded existing New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) against sex discrimination by explicitly prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals. In 2015, the state caught up, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the first statewide regulations in the nation protecting people who identify as transgender from employment and other types of discrimination.

While discrimination based on transgender status and gender identity are unlawful in New York, it remains a serious problem across the country. One survey conducted in 2011 reported some startling results. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, non-gender conforming individuals or transgender people compared to the rest of the population were twice as likely to be unemployed and four times as likely to make an annual salary of fewer than 10 thousand dollars. Nearly 50 percent of the survey participants reported losing out on job opportunities, promotions or being fired because of their gender identity.

In New York City or the surrounding metro area, may be able to file a claim if you have experienced employment discrimination or harassment because of your transgender status or sexual identity.

Our employment attorneys have the experience and dedication you want when filing a transgender discrimination claim and seeking to recover damages. Our lawyers approach cases collaboratively, ensuring our clients receive personal attention at all stages of the legal process. We can investigate your claim, file complete and persuasive documentation, and work to negotiate a fair settlement. We can also represent your interests in a court of law if that’s what it takes to secure the outcome you deserve.

Our legal staff is passionate about protecting the workplace rights of employees in New York. Contact us to discuss your gender discrimination matter.

Transgender Discrimination is Sex Discrimination

Sex or gender discrimination in employment is unlawful under federal and state laws. In New York City, the language that prohibits gender discrimination addresses gender identity. NYCHRL specifically states that an employer may not:

  • Refuse to promote, hire, fire or provide wages to someone because of their actual or perceived gender, including actual or perceived status as a transgender person.
  • Set different terms and conditions of employment because of an employee’s gender, including actual or perceived status as a transgender person.

What are terms of employment? Anything related to the hiring, firing, job performance and compensation such as training, applying, assigning work, benefits, salary structure, wages and keeping the workplace safe and free from harassment.

Unlawful Transgender Discrimination in the New York City Workplace

There are rules outlined in the NYCHRL that help establish what behavior is and is not acceptable in the workplace. The rules are designed to help avoid some of the discrimination that most commonly occurs against transgender employees.

Let’s look at some examples of what discrimination may look like when it is based on a person’s gender identity:

*NYCHRL requires that an employer uses an individual’s preferred pronoun, name, and title – regardless of the individual’s assigned gender at birth, what they look like or medical history. It is not unlawful to ask an individual what gender pronoun or name they prefer.

How can an employer violate this rule?

  • Demanding a driver’s license or court ordered name change before agreeing to use your preferred name/pronoun: “I will call you Joe until you show me a driver’s license that has the name Jill on it.”
  • Demanding medical documents that confirm your choice of gender pronoun: “I will call you Lisa and not Les until you show me a medical report that you have had gender reassignment surgery.”
  • Continuing to call a transgender individual Mr. despite her requests to be called Mrs.

*NYCHRL also requires an employer to let transgender employees use single-sex restrooms that are consistent with their gender and gender identity without regard to their sex assigned at birth.

How can an employer violate this rule?

  • Demanding documentation of identity or medical treatment before letting a transgender person use the facilities.
  • Prohibiting a transgender man from using the men’s restroom or a transgender woman from using the women’s room.
  • Forcing a transgender person to use a single-person restroom.

*Under NYCHRL, an employer may not discriminate based on an individual’s inability or refusal to adapt or conform to stereotypes based on sex or gender.

How can an employer violate this rule?

  • Using gay slurs and anti-gay language when speaking to or about someone in the context of non-conformity
  • Creating policies that prevent one gender only from doing something that is stereotypical of a different gender. For example, a policy forbidding men only from wearing makeup or jewelry to work may be discriminatory.

There other miscellaneous ways in which employers may violate NYCHRL prohibiting gender and transgender discrimination.

  • Providing services or benefits to employees of one gender but not another or to spouses of workers who are only of the opposite sex
  • Harassing an employee because of sexual identity, non-conformity with gender stereotypes or transgender status
  • Retaliating against an employee for exercising their rights against discrimination or harassment

Contact Gender Discrimination Attorneys to File Claims

Are your co-workers insulting, harassing or threatening you because of your gender or gender identity? Has your employer ignored your repeated requests to be called by your actual name or forced you to use the wrong restroom? Have you lost a promotion or raise because of your transgender status?

Our employment discrimination attorneys are here to help workers in New York City and the surrounding metropolitan areas who receive unlawful treatment because of gender, gender identity, or status as a transgender person.  Women, transgender employees, and men have workplace rights, and we have the experience to file claims and recover damages under any of the many laws that protect those rights.  We are deeply familiar with federal and state laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, NYCHRL, New York State Human Rights Law, the Women’s Equality Act, and more.

Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to guide you with compassion through the complicated process of investigating your case, filing a claim and representing you in a court of law if that is what you want. We are not afraid to go the distance if it means securing the results you deserve.

There are time limits imposed on filing employment discrimination claims – time may be of the essence. Someone who is available to take your call 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658. We look forward to hearing from you and providing a free case evaluation.