Legal Enforcement Guidance on the Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression: Local Law No. 3 (2002); N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-102(23)
The New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and housing. It also prohibits discriminatory harassment and bias-based profiling by law enforcement. The NYCHRL, pursuant to the 2005 Civil Rights Restoration Act, must be construed “independently from similar or identical provisions of New York state or federal statutes,” such that “similarly worded provisions of federal and state civil rights laws [are] a floor below which the City’s Human Rights law cannot fall, rather than a ceiling above which the local law cannot rise.”1
The New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) is the City agency charged with enforcing the NYCHRL. Individuals interested in vindicating their rights under the NYCHRL can choose to file a complaint with the Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau within one (1) year of the discriminatory act or file a complaint in New York State Supreme Court within three (3) years of the discriminatory act.
The NYCHRL prohibits unlawful discrimination in public accommodations, housing and employment on the basis of gender. Gender is defined as one’s “actual or perceived sex and shall also include a person’s gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the legal sex assigned to that person at birth.”2
This document serves as the Commission’s legal enforcement guidance of the NYCHRL’s protections as they apply to discrimination based on gender, and gender identity and gender expression, which constitute gender discrimination under the NYCHRL. This document is not intended to serve as an exhaustive list of all forms of gender-based discrimination claims under the NYCHRL.