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NYC gender anti-discrimination laws extend to the bathroom

In New York City, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity or gender expression. When developing workplace policies, choosing to hire, fire, promote or demote, employers are not allowed to consider an employee's gender or gender identity.

In December 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order taking the current law a step further. Under the new law, people will be able to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity. This law extends to single-sex facilities at all city buildings, including offices and recreation centers. This law has a special implication in the workplace.

What does this mean for employers?

Moving forward, employers must allow male or female employees to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, regardless of their gender assignment. Employers may not require their employees to prove their gender through legal documentation. Failure to obey this new law will be perceived as discrimination and could result in fines up to $250,000.

If you own a business, you may want to consider working with an employment law attorney to ensure your business facilities and policies are in-line with this new law.

What does this mean for employees?

As an employee, you are no longer limited to using restrooms that correspond with their assigned gender while at work. If your employer requires you to use a gender-specific restroom, or asks for proof of your gender identity, you have the right to bring an employment discrimination claim against your employer.

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