Governor indicates interest in expanding state’s civil rights law
Most readers are likely aware that there are certain things for which it is illegal for employers to discriminate against their workers. While readers may be aware that discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal, they may not realize that currently under the state of New York’s civil rights law, transgender discrimination is not included. This is despite the fact that transgendered individuals face the same types of discrimination and harassment that others face. Governor Andrew Cuomo is seeking to do something about that.
He recently sent a letter to the Empire State Pride Agenda, a gay and transgender rights advocate organization, indicating his intention to try to outlaw discrimination due to gender identity to expression, should he be reelected this fall. According to the letter, similar to other groups currently protected under the civil rights law, those protections would extend to public accommodation, employment and housing.
Where employment matters are concerned transgendered individuals could face a variety of issues including restroom and dress code issues, unwarranted poor performance reviews, unfair workloads and harassment.
This is not the first time leaders in the state have tried to take action on this subject. Previously the state Assembly passed legislation that would lead to language regarding gender identity and expression being added to the state’s civil rights law.
Members of the transgendered community would likely welcome such a change. However it is important for them to know that the lack of inclusion in the civil rights law does not preclude them from taking legal action when warranted. An employment lawyer can help lay out the available options when they are discriminated against.
Source: CBS New York, “Cuomo Calls To Outlaw Transgender Discrimination,” Aug. 21, 2014