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NYC Updates Definitions of Sexual Orientation and Gender Under Human Rights Law

Effective May 10, 2018, the New York City Human Rights Law will have much more expansive definitions for sexual orientation and gender.  The Law was recently amended to define sexual orientation as “an individual’s actual or perceived romantic, physical or sexual attraction to other persons, or lack thereof, on the basis of gender.  A continuum of sexual orientation exists and includes, but is not limited to heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality, asexuality, and pansexuality.”

The definition of gender was similarly expanded to include “gender identity, and gender expression, including a person’s actual or perceived gender-related self-image, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic, regardless of the sex assigned to the person at birth.” 

Employers in New York City should review their Equal Employment Opportunity policies to ensure they reflect the latest amendment.  Additionally, supervisors should be trained on the updated definitions of sexual orientation and gender so they do not overlook an employee protected by the broader definitions.

Brody and Associates regularly provides counsel on civil rights issues and employment laws in general.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.