Transgender Discrimination in Massachusetts

by | Jul 31, 2023 | Discrimination |

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has held that discrimination against transgender individuals could constitute sex and disability discrimination.

Massachusetts law defines “gender identity” 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.”

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, or an employee or agent thereof, to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based upon that individual’s gender identity with regard to recruitment, hiring, firing, discipline, promotion, wages, job assignments, training, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. Discrimination may take the form of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct, including but not limited to, derogatory comments, jokes, drawings or photographs, touching or gestures.

Examples of discrimination in employment include the following:

  •  A job applicant who identifies as a man is rejected solely because the employer learns, after checking his employment references that the applicant identified as a woman in previous employment.
  • A man is constantly harassed or made fun of by his supervisors for mannerisms perceived to be feminine.
  •  A supervisor ridicules a transgender subordinate and refuses to respect the employee’s request for gender appropriate pronouns.
  •  A transgender employee is consistently excluded from office meetings, office parties, and work-related events to which all other employees are invited.
  • A transgender employee notifies his employer that his co-workers persistently mock and deride him because of his gender-identity, and the employer fails to take prompt remedial action to stop the harassment.
  • An employer denies an employee access to the restroom that corresponds to the employee’s gender identity.
  • An employee takes a leave of absence to obtain gender affirming surgery, and upon her return from leave, her employer reduces her hours, downsizes her office, and demotes her.

If you have experienced discrimination at your place of employment based on your “gender identity,” contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE case evaluation.

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