Massachusetts Passes Transgender Rights Bill

Employment Attorney Bob SheaBy: Bob Shea

On November 16, 2011, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill that will protect transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing, mortgage loans and credit. Governor Patrick has stated that he plans to sign the bill. The bill, entitled “An Act Relative to Gender Identity,” will amend the state non-discrimination laws to include “gender identity” as a new protected category. The bill 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.” The bill does not protect transgender people in places of public accommodation, including hotels, restaurants, clubs and restrooms. Assuming Governor Patrick signs the bill, the new law will go into effect on July 1, 2012.

For more information on employment issues, please contact Bob Shea.

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