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NYC's New Antidiscrimination Laws: What You Need To Know

In December 2015, several new laws were enacted affording further protections to New York City workers and greater restrictions on employers.

The new laws expand the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) that prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of gender or gender identity. This law impacts the employee-employer relationship in 5 important ways:

1. Employers must allow employees to use single-sex restrooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity, not their current gender assignment.

2. Employers cannot require identification or legal proof of gender.

3. Employers must use an employee's preferred pronoun (he, she) and title (Mr., Ms. Mrs.)

4. Employers may not require employees to wear gender-specific uniforms, or hold males and females to different grooming or appearance standards

5. If health benefits are offered to employees, those benefits must cover transgender care

6. Employees undergoing gender confirmation procedures must be given reasonable accommodations

The changes to NYC employment laws also expanded protection for workers who are also family caregivers. Employers may not make personnel decisions - such as hiring, promoting, demoting or firing - based on an employee's status as a caregiver. A caregiver is someone who acts in a "parental role" for a child under 18 years of age, this includes biological and adopted children, and foster children.

This expanded protection for caregivers takes effect in May of this year.

New York City has some of the most stringent employment laws in the country. The recent changes in antidiscrimination laws are further evidence of NYC's commitment to workplace equality. For more information about workplace discrimination, or for assistance developing employment policies in-line with the new laws, consider contacting an experienced employment attorney.

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