T H E  N E W  Y O R K  C I T Y  L A W  O F F I C E S  OF





























We Help Employees Take Action

and Recover Fair Compensation

in New York and Across the U.S.









New York Employment Attorneys Fight Gender Identity Discrimination With Preserverence and Passion

Rights of transgender workers are now protected statewide

Civil rights advocates recently rejoiced when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order extending the state’s anti-discrimination rules to transgender people. Although New York City had already enacted a local ordinance barring discrimination based on gender identity, with this regulatory change, the state of New York joined only nineteen other states providing the same protection at the state level.

Because this recent change is an executive order, and not a legislative change, and because expression of gender identity raises new and unique workplace issues, many in the transgender community now have questions about exactly what new protections they may now enjoy in New York. At the Manhattan law firm of Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth, PLLC our knowledgeable New York City employment law attorneys have paid close attention to every legal development and court decision affecting transgender workers, both locally and beyond. We have the skill and experience you need in your corner when facing an employment law matter. If you believe you have been discriminated at your job because of your gender identity or expression, we are ready to help you fight back today.

What are my rights as a transgendered worker?

In recent years, many workers lacking these legal protections have found themselves without legal recourse after being subject to harassment and termination. Courts have been reluctant to extend laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation to gender identity.

Fortunately, transgender people in New York are now specifically entitled to the same protections in place to prevent discrimination based on gender, race, religion, disability and sexual orientation. Employers are now prohibited from using an applicant or employee’s gender identity as a basis for decisions such as hiring, firing, pay rate, promotions, assignments or fringe benefits.

Some common types of discrimination faced by transgendered workers include:

·        Termination from a job upon discovery or disclosure of transgender status;

·        Termination from a job after beginning the transition process;

·        Being required to use employee restroom facilities inconsistent with one’s gender identity and presentation;

·        Harassing, hostile or intimidating behavior from co-workers about one’s gender identity, as well as management refusal of supervisors to respond or investigate complaints of such behavior from a transgendered employee;

·        Being prevented from adhering to the prescribed dress code for one’s gender identity and presentation.


Besides prohibiting both public and private employment discrimination, transgendered New Yorkers are now also protected from discrimination when seeking housing, education, loans, or at public accommodations (such as restaurants.)

What can I do if I prove that I was harassed or discriminated against by my employer?

Employers found in violation of New York’s anti-discrimination rules now face stiff consequences for such activity. Discrimination claims can be filed with the State Division of Human Rights, which investigates each claim and can, after a public hearing, award damages to parties making valid claims while enforcing stiff penalties and fines of up to $1000,000 against employers.

Transgender employers, however, should be aware of the possible limits of their claim. As New York is still an at-will state, employers are entitled to terminate an employee without cause; a transgender employee must be able to prove that their termination was actually based on their transgender status. Claims of sexual harassment are also subject to interpretation by the courts; simple teasing or offhand comments, for example, may fall short of creating a sufficiently hostile work environment under the law.

Also, gender-restricted employee bathrooms represent an issue for which an employer’s legal obligations remain unclear, as most employers successfully reach a solution specific to their particular workplace, either by enforcing a policy permitting the employee to use the restroom suited to their gender presentation, or by providing unisex bathrooms.

Courts have also traditionally upheld that an employer is entitled to enforce separate, gender-based dress codes and appearance standards, such as only requiring male employees to wear neckties and permitting only female employees to have long hair. Transgender employees should be certain to adhere to the dress code policy in effect for that gender which they present.

Because case law on some of these issues can be confusing, or does not yet exist, and because discrimination protections against transgender workers may not be available at the federal level, it is important that transgender New York workers seeking to pursue an action against their employer consult with an experienced New York employment law attorney for guidance and advice regarding their claim.

Trust our experienced New York Employment Law attorneys to help you fight against gender discrimination

At the Manhattan law offices of Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth, PLLC, our skilled New York employment law attorneys stand ready to help transgender employees fight back against discrimination and harassment. We have more than 70 years of combined experience standing up to employers ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local businesses. For a free initial consultation, and to find out more about your rights as a transgender employee and New York’s anti-discrimination protections, contact us online or call us today at 212-545-1199.





Contact an employment law attorney in New York today for a free initial consultation and determine whether you have a case. For a free initial consultation, you can contact us online or by phone.

CALL US TODAY! 212-545-1199