What Rights Do New York Transgender Individuals Have?

In January of 2021, a student brought a claim of transgender discrimination against Apex Technical School. The claimant and the school reached a $25,000 settlement.

Details of the Transgender Discrimination Case

The lawsuit based the complaint on several instances of transgender discrimination. One argument was that the school refused to register the student under his current name. Furthermore, a staff member continued to call the student by his former feminine name in front of the class, which consisted of cisgender men. Prior to this, the male classmates had not been aware that the student was a transgender man. In addition, the school insisted that the student use the woman’s restroom. Rather than being forced into a different gender identity, the student walked more than a block to use the restroom at a nearby restaurant.

The settlement with Apex Technical School consisted of the following agreements:

  • $15,000 payment in emotional distress damages
  • $10,000 payment in civil penalties
  • Agreement to post new gender neutral signage outside the schools single-gender restroom facilities
  • Removal of all locks requiring a key for access to the single-gender facilities
  • Modification of the school’s enrollment paperwork to allow students to self-identity their gender, name, title and pronouns
  • Distribution of the Commission’s Gender Identity/Gender Expression Legal Enforcement to its staff
  • Provision of anti-discrimination training to all staff

New York Equal Access for Transgender Individuals

In December of 2020, the New York legislature passed a law that amended New York’s Civil Rights Law and Education Law, adding further provisions to protect the rights of transgender individuals.

The law requires that single-occupancy bathrooms to be gender neutral in public places. Public places include:

  • Schools
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Other establishments

This law goes into effect on March 23, 2021. Facilities must replace signage indicating “male” or “female” with a designation that makes the restroom open to all genders. However, it does not require businesses or schools to build new gender-neutral, single occupancy restrooms.

Rely on an experienced employment law attorney

The Law office of Peter A. Romero has extensive experience representing clients in all types of discrimination cases. We are glad to discuss your complaint and determine how we can help. Call us at (631) 257-5588 or contact us online.