Gender Identity Discrimination

You have your own sense of gender identity. This can mean that you don’t identify your gender with your birth gender. Or you may be someone who identifies with both male and female gender. Or you may identify with your birth sex, but don’t conform with social expectations associated with your birth sex. There are many forms of gender identities.

People with different gender identities frequently experience discrimination in hiring, job harassment and firing.

The New York City Human Rights Law provides broad protection for gender identity in the workplace, whether that identity is actual, or merely perceived by others. Your gender includes your actual or perceived sex, gender identity, appearance, behavior and expression. And this protection applies regardless of whether your gender expression differs from what is the stereotype associated with the legal sex assigned to you at birth. 

In other words, you are entitled to your own sense of gender identity (male, female or androgynous) and your own gender expression (such as dress, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions) regardless of traditional gender expression. Different gender expressions which would be covered include transvestites, cross-dressers, drag queens or kings.

If you are in the gender transition category, you may be covered by the law if you are in pre-operative or post-operative stages of gender confirmation surgery, or whether you are engaged in hormone replacement therapy to effect a gender transition.

You are entitled to be addressed by the name, pronoun and title appropriate to your gender identity, and to dress in the manner appropriate with your gender identity.

The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers oppose discrimination against a person based on a person’s gender identity. The government also reflects this consensus. For example, driver’s licenses and identity cards, social security documents, immigration information, and United States passports are mandated to reflect transgender identity.

Some questions which come up in gender identity cases are what sex was assigned to you at birth, and how you yourself describe your gender identity or expression. You may also at some point have changed your name to conform to your gender identity or have transitioned to another gender or are in the process of doing so. If you are currently employed, how did your employer become aware of your gender identity, and what was the response of the employer or other employees. Also, in some cases, you may have you been given a medical diagnosis of Gender Disorder, Gender Dysphoria or of intersex conditions.

You cannot be subjected to adverse job action or hostile environment in the workplace because of your gender identity. If you are being subjected to gender identity discrimination, you should inform your employer’s human resources department or a person with appropriate authority to see if the problem can be corrected. Your complaints are protected by law. You cannot be  subjected to retaliation because you have complained of discrimination against you based on  your gender identity.

Contact us online or call us at (212) 949-1001 if you think that your employer's harmful actions stem from gender identity discrimination, and we will use our more than 25 years of experience in employment law to help you resolve the matter by negotiation or by going to court in the State of New York.