The New York Human Rights Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on 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.). All employers, regardless of size, are liable for sexual harassment.
Discrimination based on 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.
The state also has a separate Equal Pay Act that prohibits employers from paying employees of one sex less than employees of the opposite sex for work at the same establishment that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. Pay differentials are permissible if based on seniority, merit, quality, or quantity of production, or a bona fide factor other than sex (NY Labor Law Sec. 194 et seq.).
Most violations of the Equal Pay Act will also constitute sex discrimination under the state Human Rights Law.