Gender Identity Discrimination
Any employee who is ridiculed, denied employment or promotion, or suffers harassment in the workplace because of their gender expression or identity may be entitled to file an employment discrimination claim. Though federal and state laws are still evolving, many contend that they have a long way to go when it comes to direct protection for the transgender community.
Cherry Hill employment discrimination lawyers at McOmber & McOmber advocate for the rights and protections of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as well as victims of workplace discrimination related to age, race, gender, and national origin. When an employee suspects that he or she has been a victim of discrimination, it is critical that they consult a qualified employment lawyer with experience handling gender identity discrimination cases in New Jersey.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII, originally intended to end race discrimination in the workplace, also provides protections against sex discrimination. In several previous cases, this law has been successfully used to defend the rights of the transgender community by arguing that gender identification falls under those protections.
Many times, complaints regarding sex discrimination and gender identity discrimination are similar enough to make a case under Title VII. For example, issues related to dress codes are common to both transgender workers and cisgender workers alike. Harassment is another commonly cited problem in many workplaces. Examples of harassment that affect both groups include teasing, sexual harassment, and inappropriate comments and behavior that can lead to a hostile work environment.
Gender Identity Discrimination
Some believe that there is a thin line between joking with a co-worker and discrimination. However, discrimination occurs whenever a person’s gender, gender identity, or perceived gender or gender identity is the subject of inappropriate behavior, both verbally and physically. This includes:
- Making unfavorable employment-based decisions on the basis of a person’s gender identity
- Demoting, firing, laying off, or otherwise denying employment privileges because an employee has undergone or is planning to undergo a gender transition
- Instituting dress or grooming codes that unfairly target transgendered workers
- Denying a transgendered employee access to restroom facilities
- Intentionally and persistently failing to use the name and gender pronoun that corresponds with the employee’s gender identity
Protections for the Transgender Community in New Jersey
Currently, there are 18 states plus the District of Columbia that have explicitly banned discrimination based on gender identity in both public and private employment. Additionally, there are nearly 200 cities and counties in the country with similar bans. Furthermore, many companies have taken it upon themselves to add anti-discrimination policies that include transgendered people in their protections. New Jersey is one of the 18 states that has strong laws that protect an individual’s right to their own gender identity and expression.
In 1991, the state amended New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) to include protection for people based on sexual orientation, then amended the law again in 2006 to include gender identity. The NJLAD now strictly defends against discrimination in employment or public accommodations. The law also includes the same protections for perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Cherry Hill Employment Discrimination Lawyers at McOmber & McOmber, P.C., Fight for Transgender Rights
Every person should be given respect and feel safe while at their place of work. If you have worked in a hostile work environment or suffered discrimination based on your gender identity, call our Cherry Hill employment lawyers at McOmber & McOmber at 732-842-6500 in Red Bank or 856-985-9800 in Marlton or contact us online today for a free consultation. We have two convenient New Jersey office locations to serve you.