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Law heads to governor's desk for signature

The New York state legislature approved a bill called the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. It would ban employer discrimination based on gender identity or expression, and the governor of the state is expected to sign it into law. The law seeks to provide greater protections for transgender individuals and others who don't conform to gender norms. If the law does pass, New York would become at least the 22nd state to offer such protection.

Furthermore, the District of Columbia also bans discrimination based on gender identity or expression. However, the issue is currently only being resolved on the state level. Court cases at the federal level have had mixed outcomes, and the Supreme Court has not decided to make a decision about the matter. Therefore, employers must rely on state law or their own judgment as it relates to discrimination based on expression of gender.

In addition, the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have differing viewpoints on the matter. The EEOC says that sex as written in Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 is meant to include gender identity. However, the DOJ has taken an opposing opinion. Instead of waiting for a final answer, some employers have decided to create policies aimed at protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ and transgender workers.

Individuals who are demoted, terminated or otherwise harassed based on their looks may be victims of gender discrimination at work. It may be worthwhile to file a charge with the EEOC or file a lawsuit if possible. In some cases, it may be necessary to go through arbitration instead of going to court. An attorney may be able to help a worker obtain a favorable outcome in his or her workplace discrimination case.

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