Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act into law this past Friday, the governor’s office announced.
Titled the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), the bill defines “gender identity or expression” as “a person’s actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including, but not limited to, the status of being transgender.” GENDA amends New York’s Human Rights Law, extending its employment discrimination protections — among others — to transgender and non-gender conforming individuals, according to a statement from the Assembly.
In 2015, Cuomo issued statewide regulations banning discrimination and harassment, including in the employment context, against transgender individuals. Those regulations were later adopted in 2016, but did not involve action on the part of the state’s legislature. New York will join at least 21 other states and the District of Columbia in prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity, according to the civil rights organization Human Rights Campaign.