The New York Human Rights Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex (including gender identity and transgender status), sexual orientation, or marital status. The Law covers employers with four or more employees (NY Exec. Law Sec. 290 et seq.). Effective January 19, 2016, all employers, regardless of size, are liable for sexual harassment.
Effective January 20, 2016, discrimination on the basis of gender identity is sex discrimination under the law (9 NYCRR Sec. 466.13). “Gender identity” is defined as having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression whether that identity is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth. A “transgender person” is an individual who has a gender identity different from the sex assigned to that person at birth. All prohibitions against sex discrimination under the law apply to discrimination based on gender identity or the status of being transgender.
Sexual orientation. The term “sexual orientation” means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality, whether actual or perceived.
Recognition of same-sex marriages. A New York Appellate Division court has ruled that same-sex marriages entered into legally outside the state must be recognized in New York (Martinez v. County of Monroe, 850 N.Y.S.2d 740 (4th Dept. 2008)). In this case, the employee worked for a public employer in the state of New York. She and her same-sex partner were legally married in Canada, and the employee sought spousal healthcare benefits from her employer. The employer claimed the marriage was not valid under state law. However, the court ruled that subject ...