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How New York's GENDA law affects employment

Earlier this year, the New York State Senate passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). The act prohibits employers from discriminating, harassing, or retaliating against employees or job applicants on the basis of gender identity or expression. This is defined as:

"A person's actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including, but not limited to, the status of being transgender."

As the cultural climate shifts, people are becoming more accepting of gender non-conforming people. However, there are those out there who don't understand and will attempt to discriminate against them. If you are gender non-conforming, you have likely experienced some sort prejudice or discrimination before.

Prohibitions Under The Law

Thankfully, laws like GENDA seek to put a stop to unfair treatment at work or while looking for a job. Here are some key things prohibited under this law as they relate to gender expression:

  • Employers cannot refuse to hire or fire people on this basis
  • Employers cannot discriminate in pay or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment toward gender non-conforming people
  • Employment agencies cannot act on or throw out applications on this basis
  • Employers or employment agencies cannot print or circulate statements or make inquiries that express directly or indirectly any limitation or discrimination related to gender identity and expression

Under this act, it is also unlawful for employers to:

  • Refuse to admit people to any occupational training program because of their gender identity or expression
  • Discriminate against a person in the terms, conditions or privileges of these programs based on gender identity or expression.

According to the State Senate, GENDA is among the few major LGBTQ laws passed in the state since Marriage Equality back in 2011. New York is in the minority of states that have employment laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity expression-are 21 states total, including Washington D.C.

If you are a gender non-conforming person and believe you were discriminated against at work or while looking for a job, an experience employment law attorney can help you determine your legal options.

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