Thursday, May 19, 2016

New York City: Not using transgender pronouns could result in $250,000 fine

Employers and landlords who don’t use pronouns such as “ze/hir” to refer to transgender workers and tenants who request them — may be subject to fines as high as $250,000.
The Commission on Human Rights’ legal guidelines mandate that anyone who providing jobs or housing must use individuals’ preferred gender pronouns.
As the regulations, updated late last year, point out, some transgender individuals prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers.
Examples of less prominent pronouns that some transgender people may choose, according to the city, are: “ze,” which is the third person singular, such as he and she; and “hir,” which is the third person plural, similar to they.
The legal enforcement is in line with the city’s guidance on discrimination based on gender identity or expression.
“Gender expression may not be distinctively male or female and may not conform to traditional gender-based stereotypes assigned to specific gender identities,” the city advises.
An employer or landlord could be considered in violation of the guidelines if there is “intentional or repeated” refusal to use a person’s preferred pronoun after that person has made it clear which one they prefer.
Penalties of up to $250,000 can be imposed for violations that are deemed to be the result of malicious intent.
The idea of using pronouns other than “he/she” has come to light in the past decade as more people are identifying with “non-binary” gender roles, meaning not traditional male/female.

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