A Primer on Employment Discrimination

Although federal law is, in many ways, deficient in protecting LGBT employees against employment discrimination, there are many interesting new developments around the country in the field of LGBT employment discrimination law.

Sixteen states, plus the District of Columbia, ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression/identity. Five states ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, but fail to address gender discrimination/identity.

In 2011, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Nevada extended their protections to protect transgender persons. The New York Assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act or “GENDA” on April 30, 2012. These new laws carefully define “gender identity.” For example, the Massachusetts law defines the term as, “any person’s gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not that appearance, identity, or behavior differs from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.” These states joined 13 other jurisdictions with similar protections.

“A Primer on Employment Discrimination.”  Washington Blade (September 5, 2012)