Work accommodations should be offered to employees regardless of gender. Unfortunately, some companies deny employees work accommodations because they do not conform to gender norms. The NYC Commission on Human Rights protects employees with the NYC Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). The Law forbids NYC employers from all forms of gender-based discrimination. Additionally, the Commission can bring employers to trial if they refuse to obey the Law. Employers can also pay costly fines if the Commission charges them with discrimination.
Employers need to understand the Law in order to promote equality and avoid legal issues. This article will explore how work accommodations can reflect gender discrimination. It will also reveal examples of NYCHRL violations.
Gender and Work Accommodations
The Law forbids employers from considering gender when assessing requests for the following:
- – accommodations for disabilities
- – participation in a program
- – changes to the terms of employment
- – use of a public accommodation
- – medical or personal leave
- – changes in schedule
Furthermore, they must handle medical leave requests related to gender identity in the same fashion as requests for all other health conditions. The Law also requires that employers provide suitable accommodations for people undergoing gender transition. This includes leave for medical appointments, counseling and surgery. Employers should also treat recovery from gender transitioning procedures and surgeries the same as any other medical condition.
Examples of NYCHRL Violations
It is against the Law for companies to deny transgender employees’ requests for unpaid medical leave if they have a policy of routinely granting such requests to other employees. The Law also forbids employers from offering a cisgender woman accommodation after reconstructive breast surgery but not a transgender woman for the same procedure. Additionally, it is illegal to ask a transgender employee for medical documentation to verify time off but not other employees. Finally, employers are not allowed to consider gender when assessing the accrual of benefits during an employee’s leave.
Please check out our Anti-Discrimination Course should you have been charged to obtain a certification of completion and help with your charges. Feel free to contact us with any questions around work accommodations and discrimination.