Anti-Gender Discrimination Laws Apply to Transgender Individuals
NYC Commits to Enforcement with fines up to $250,000
NOW calls on State to Pass Comprehensive Measure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2015 – New York, NY – The New York City Human Rights Commission has released new guidelines that will take enforcement of anti-gender discrimination laws seriously.
“The level of discrimination, harassment, homelessness and violence transgender individuals face is staggering, in particular for transgender women of color,” said Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW in New York. “Enforcement is the key to ending such pervasive discrimination and violence.”
The new legal guidelines on protections for gender identity and expression provide explicit examples to employers, landlords, business owners, and the general public on what New York City considers discrimination under the law, and will hold those accountable financially if discrimination takes place against people based on their gender identity.
In addition to New York City, cities across New York State, including Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse, Suffolk, and Tompkins and Westchester counties, have implemented stronger laws to protect transgender individuals. The result is a patchwork of protections for some individuals depending on where they live or work.
“Eighteen states have already passed laws prohibiting discrimination of transgender people,’ Ossorio said. “What’s really needed is a comprehensive and clear set of protections for all New Yorkers at the state level.”
Transgender New Yorkers experience high rates of discrimination, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and violence and sexual assault, and these numbers are even higher among transgender women of color. According to the Empire State Pride Agenda, 75% of transgender New Yorkers have experienced on-the-job harassment. Youth are also at high risk, as 75% of transgender K-12 students have been harassed in school, and more than one-third have been physically assaulted.
The National Organization for Women is the nation’s largest organization working to advance women’s rights and improve women’s lives. NOW New York aims to protect and promote reproductive justice, secure workplace equality, combat racism and homophobia, and end discrimination and violence against all women.