New York City to Fine Employers Who Refer to ‘Transgendered’ Workers by Birth Gender

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NEW YORK — The New York City Commission on Human Rights has announced new guidelines under the city’s Human Rights Law that may impose fines on employers who use masculine pronouns for male workers who wish to identify as women and vice versa.

The Commission released its interpretive guide to the law on Monday, which includes a prohibition on “[i]ntentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title,” such as “repeatedly calling a transgender woman ‘him’ or ‘Mr.’ when she has made it clear that she prefers female pronouns and a female title.”

The guidelines state that employers should ask all workers to provide their preferred pronoun, and “should not limit the options for identification to male and female only.”

“Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir,” the document outlines.


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