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New York - New York City Unveils New Rules On Gender Discrimination

Published on: December 21, 2015 08:31 PM
By: AP
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New York - Restaurant owners can’t require ties for male diners only. Gyms can’t tell clients which locker room to use. And in most cases, an employer can’t put “John” on a worker’s ID if she prefers “Jane.”

New York City’s Human Rights Commission is establishing what advocates called some of the most powerful guidelines nationwide on gender-identity discrimination, releasing specifics Monday to flesh out broad protections in a 2002 law.

“Today’s guidance makes it abundantly clear what the city considers to be discrimination,” which can lead to fines of up to $250,000, Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis said in a statement. Officials said complaints about gender-identity discrimination have risen in recent years but couldn’t immediately provide statistics.

Some cities around the country have added transgender people to anti-discrimination protections, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did likewise for his state this fall. Other communities have rebuffed them: Houston voters this fall defeated an ordinance that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people.

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“New York City vaults to the front of the line” with its new guidelines and strong legal framework for human rights complaints, said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. “These are real, everyday struggles for transgender people.”

The guidelines apply to many businesses, landlords and employers. Public schools already have their own, somewhat similar rules. Some religious institutions and private clubs can be exempt.

Groups representing restaurateurs and landlords didn’t immediately respond to inquiries about the new provisions, nor did a major fitness-center chain.

An estimated 25,000 transgender or gender non-conforming people live in the city, officials said.

Besides overall bans on discrimination in housing and hiring, the new guidelines speak to such specifics as balking at using the personal pronoun of someone’s choice — “Ms.” or “Mr.,” for instance. Commission officials say they understand there can be honest mistakes, but repeating them, refusing to correct them or ridiculing the person can be a violation.

The rules also declare that transgender people can’t be denied access to the restroom or locker room where their gender identity belongs, at their discretion. Unisex, single-occupancy bathrooms are suggested but not required.

Objections from fellow patrons or employees “are not a lawful reason to deny access,” the guidelines say. Officials point to existing harassment and sex-crime laws to address any concerns about sexual predators gaining access to intimate settings, a concern raised during the Houston referendum, though its supporters called the problem minimal.

New York’s rules also address topics ranging from health coverage to employee dress codes. They needn’t be reduced to one unisex outfit, but a business can’t require dresses or makeup for women only, for instance, or bar only men from having long hair.

Federal courts have upheld gender-specific dress requirements in some cases, but the commission says that such differentiation “reinforces a culture of sex stereotypes” and that there’s legal room for the city to set its own guidelines.



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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 21, 2015 at 09:54 PM berylyoseph Says:

For all those who were lenient with halochos of 'Tznius', Remember: You must keep the City's "Shulchan Aruch" or pay a fine up to $250,000,

2

 Dec 21, 2015 at 10:07 PM nphatti Says:

Bunch of perverts wanting access to the ladies restrooms. Most people learn to control these adolescent urges by adulthood. The others legislate to support them.

3

 Dec 21, 2015 at 10:42 PM mugsisme Says:

Reply to #2  
nphatti Says:

Bunch of perverts wanting access to the ladies restrooms. Most people learn to control these adolescent urges by adulthood. The others legislate to support them.

Forget the rest rooms! Those have doors. It's the locker rooms that are scary.
How many women are going to have to get hurt before people wake up? Or will it just be brushed under the carpet, shut your mouth and don't complain thing?

4

 Dec 21, 2015 at 10:43 PM mugsisme Says:

Reply to #2  
nphatti Says:

Bunch of perverts wanting access to the ladies restrooms. Most people learn to control these adolescent urges by adulthood. The others legislate to support them.

Oh. I wonder what's going to happen to women only gyms.
Keep electing liberals New York! Yasher koach!

5

 Dec 21, 2015 at 11:18 PM yidele1 Says:

bandeh chazeirim

6

 Dec 22, 2015 at 01:03 AM lazerx Says:

What is this country coming to when the guy in the urinal next to me is she? and the girl in the office is he?

7

 Dec 22, 2015 at 09:30 AM albroker Says:

you can thank all the askanim for telling us to vote for this Marxist de bozo.

8

 Dec 22, 2015 at 09:31 AM Logical_Abe Says:

Reply to #5  
yidele1 Says:

bandeh chazeirim

Exactly. We have to thank Hashem for creating us as religious Jews who are immersed all day in avoidas Haboireh, unlike them whose mind all day is into shmutz and more shmutz, mamish like animals; literally what cats and dogs and other animals are absorbed in all day.

9

 Dec 22, 2015 at 09:38 AM wsbrgh Says:

Bs'd. California defeated a similar bill with a video of actors showing a creepy adult male following a little girl into the restroom.

10

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