WATCH OUT! This State Will Fine You 250k for “Misgendering” A Transexual
Violations of the ordinance deemed incidental and without malice subject an employer or landlord to a $125,000 fine for each occurrence.
Any violation that is found to have been willful and malicious will result in a $250,000. Here is a little background...
It has been illegal to discriminate based on gender identity in New York for over a decade, but now New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced what some officials are calling “the most aggressive city in the country in terms of protecting the rights of transgendered.”
“New York has always been a diverse and welcoming city and our laws are designed to protect every New Yorker, regardless of their gender identity,” said Mayor de Blasio.
The New York Commission on Human Rights has issued revisions to an existing ordinance creating a new offense, “misgendering.”
The ordinance, “Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression,” puts the burden on property owners, landlords and business owners to go beyond a standard equal treatment under the law requirement to establish a new duty to use an individual’s preferred pronoun and title, under penalty of crippling fines.
The NYCHRL requires employers and covered entities to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.
The transgendered community has coined neologisms “zhe” and “hir” that may be preferred over traditional “he” and “she” gender pronouns.
Opponents of the new requirement claim compliance may be difficult or even impossible when judged by the purely subjective standards of individuals.
Under the law, a food server with a full beard could visually present as male, but report a violation of the ordinance if referred to as “he,” rather than any other chosen pronoun, including “they.”
Similarly, an employee might appear to be a female, but internally “feel” male, complicating the pronoun choice especially difficult.
The ordinance also addresses requirements regarding the provision of single-sex restroom and locker room facilities, health insurance coverage for “gender-affirming” procedures and treatments, as well as uniform and grooming codes that fail to take into account the preferred gender identity of the individual.
The requirements imposed by the new legislation specifically forbids a business owner from taking into account community standards or the preferences of its clientele who may be uncomfortable being served by a male server wearing lipstick, nail polish or stiletto heels.
The legislation does provide some exceptions for small, family owned businesses and employers who may have religious considerations that conflict with the new requirements.