Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Banning Transgender Discrimination

On January 25, 2019, New York added gender identity and gender expression to the state’s anti-discrimination law, making it illegal to deny individuals a job, housing, education or public accommodations because they are transgender or non-binary. The legislation is known as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA).

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Center in Manhattan. Although Governor Cuomo had issued an executive order in 2015 adding gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination rules, any future governor could have rescinded that order whereas now the entire Legislature must vote to repeal the statute.

New Jersey added “gender identity and expression” as a protected category to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination on December 19, 2006, which amendment became effective 180 days thereafter on June 17, 2007.

New York employers need to ensure that their anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures comply with the new law.

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