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New Connecticut Law Bans Discrimination Against Transgendered Employees

Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed a law protecting transgendered employees from employment discrimination. The law, which recently went into effect, is known simply as "An Act Concerning Discrimination." The law prohibits Connecticut employers from discriminating in hiring and firing on the grounds of gender identity.

Scope of the Law

The new law applies to Connecticut state agencies and employers with more than three employees. It prohibits employment discrimination based on "gender identity or expression," which the law defines as "a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth."

In other words, the law protects an employee who chooses to identify with a different gender than the one assigned at birth. An employee wishing to establish his or her new gender-related identity may do through various actions including, but not limited to:

  • Asserting the gender-related identity
  • Providing evidence of medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity
  • Providing evidence showing that the gender-related identity is not being asserted for improper reasons
  • Providing evidence, medical or otherwise, that the gender-related identity is a sincerely held element of the person's core identity

Based on the ways that one can prove one's gender-related identity, it is clear that the law aims to protect employees who:

  • Are undergoing gender-reassignment surgery
  • Do not intend to undergo gender-reassignment surgery
  • Have completed gender-reassignment surgery
  • Are in the process of completing gender-reassignment surgery

Having enacted this law, Connecticut became the 15 th state (in addition to the District of Columbia) to extend workplace protection to transgendered employees. "Our national survey spotlights just how pervasive and severe discrimination is toward transgender and gender non-conforming people," said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We thank Gov. Dan Malloy and lawmakers for ensuring that the people of Connecticut, regardless of gender identity or expression are protected from such discrimination," Carey added.

An Attorney Can Help

Before the new law, transgendered employees expressing their gender identity at work had to live with the fear of retaliation, discrimination or losing their jobs. It is clear that the new law intends to protect against such instances. If you feel that your employer has discriminated against you because of your gender-related identity, consulting with an experienced employment discrimination attorney can help you determine your legal options.