NYC Human Rights Commission Releases New Rules Against Gender Discrimination

The guidlines specify violations against transgender and gender nonconforming people.

Image by Flickr user Jeffrey Beall

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has released new rules against gender discrimination in school, the workplace, public institutions, and businesses, providing guidance for a pre-existing 2002 civil rights law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, and other identity traits.

“Far too often, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals suffer discrimination, harassment, and violence on a scale many cannot imagine,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, New York City Human Rights Commissioner, in a press statement. “New York City does not and will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression.”

The commission’s new guidelines specify violations against transgender and other gender nonconforming folks, like failure to use someone’s preferred pronouns or names, or the imposition of dress codes on the basis of sex or gender. They would also, for example, protect gender nonconforming people from being denied access to bathrooms or lockers that correspond with their gender identity. The guidelines even specify the use of gender-neutral pronouns, like “they/them/theirs” and “ze/hir.”

“Today’s new guidelines strengthen those laws by ensuring that every transgender and gender nonconforming person in New York receives the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in the press statement.

Violations will incur penalties up to $125,000; those who commit violations with malicious intent can be penalized for as much as $250,000.