New Hampshire Expands Protections Against Discrimination to Include Gender Identity
New Hampshire has enacted a law to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodation. The law, which amends the state’s Law Against Discrimination, takes effect July 8, 2018.
The law will make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to: (i) refuse to hire or employ; (ii) bar or discharge from employment, or (iii) discriminate against an individual on the basis of gender identity in compensation or in the terms, conditions or privileges of employment, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification. Employers are further prohibited from publishing, circulating, or utilizing any statement, advertisement, publication, or application in connection with employment that expresses (either directly or indirectly) any limitation, specification, or discrimination on the basis of gender identity, unless again based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.
Additionally, labor organizations will be prohibited from excluding or expelling from membership or otherwise discriminating against an individual on the basis of the person’s gender identity, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.
The law also expands protections under the Law Against Discrimination to include prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the sale, rental or leasing of housing, as well as in access to places of public accommodation.
“Gender identity” is defined under the law 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.”
Employers with operations in New Hampshire should review their policies and practices to ensure that gender identity is included amongst the protections against discrimination and harassment.