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Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) & the NYS Human Rights Law 

In 1945, the New York State Legislature passed what was the first civil rights law in the country. This law—which is now known as the Human Rights Law — prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, credit, places of public accommodation, internships, domestic services, volunteer firefighting, and private, non-sectarian educational institutions.  In January 2019, the Human Rights Law was amended to add gender identity or expression as a protected category.  Discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression is prohibited in all areas covered by the Human Rights Law.

Upcoming Know Your Rights Seminars

DHR's Know Your Rights tour has resumed on September 24th, as reflected in the list below, after a pause due to the pandemic with virtual events throughout each region of the state. Please check this page periodically for updates. If we have already passed the date in your region, please feel free to join another upcoming virtual event. If you have any specific questions regarding the tour, please email Opens in a new window[email protected].

  • September 24, 2020 at 6 p.m., Long Island and Mid-Lower Hudson Valley
  • October 8, 2020 at 6 p.m., Capital District and Upper Hudson Valley
  • October 22, 2020 at 6 p.m., North Country, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, and Central NY
  • October 29, 2020 at 6 p.m., Western New York and Rochester/Finger Lakes
  • November 12, 2020 at 6 p.m., New York City

What Does the Law Cover?
Discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression is prohibited in all areas covered by the Human Rights Law, including employment, housing, places of public accommodation, and non-religious schools.

What Is Gender Identity or Expression?
Gender identity or expression means a person's actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including, but not limited to, the status of being transgender. A transgender person is an individual who has a gender identity different from the sex assigned to that individual at birth. Gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition related to an individual having a gender identity different from the sex assigned at birth.  

What Is Prohibited by the Law?
Unlawful discrimination based on gender identity or expression can include:

  • questions about gender identity or expression, an individual’s sex assigned at birth, medical history, or body parts in a job or housing interview
  • refusing to hire for a job, to rent an apartment or to allow equal access to credit, a public accommodation, or a school
  • terminating employment or housing • applying different terms or conditions of employment, of a lease, of credit or of service in a public establishment
  • denying the use of rest rooms, locker rooms, or other facilities consistent with a person’s gender identity
  • requiring grooming, uniform, or appearance standards based on sex stereotypes 

Where Should I File a Complaint?
If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your gender identity, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights. A complaint must be filed with the Division within one year of the alleged discriminatory act. Call us at 1-888-392- 3644 to discuss your situation. 


Opens in a new windowDHR's Page on LGBTQ+ Rights

Download PdfGender Identity Discrimination Guidance (Booklet)

Download PdfGender Identity Discrimination Palmcard

Download PdfDiscrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression (Brochure)

Download PdfGender Identity Discrimination by Hospitals (Two-Page Handout)