Recent cases in New York and Pennsylvania demonstrate that, at least in some jurisdictions and under some circumstances, a plaintiff can state a valid claim for unlawful gender discrimination based on a spouse’s jealousy.
New York City is finishing off a strong year on the employment law front. Earlier this year, the City Council passed laws that banned the box and all but eliminated credit checks. It also passed a law requiring employers to offer their employees pre-tax transit benefits and instituted a paired testing discrimination investigation program. The Department of Consumer Affairs continued to provide guidance on the paid sick leave law, while the Commission on Human Rights welcomed a new commissioner and implemented new initiatives designed to enhance the Commission’s enforcement efforts. It also released enforcement guidance on the ban the box and credit check laws. Now, as the year comes to a close, we cover the latest flurry of legislative and administrative activity in this three-part series. First up: Enforcement Guidance on Gender Identity/Expression Discrimination.
The City Commission on Human Rights has issued broad-based guidelines that attempt to clearly define the contours of gender identity and gender expression discrimination in the workplace – an issue with which many employers continue to struggle. The guidance provides “bold and explicit” examples of actions that the Commission considers discriminatory and offers best practices for complying with the Human Rights Law.
New York City employers should pay careful attention to these new guidelines as they will impact long-standing workplace policies, practices and behaviors, including dress codes, uniforms, and grooming standards. We summarize the guidance below.
Written by Gauri Punjabi
As one employee recently learned, a supervisor’s favoritism toward another employee because of a romantic relationship does not equate to unlawful discrimination. Additionally, a complaint of said favoritism cannot serve as the basis for an actionable retaliation claim.
In Clark v. Cache Valley Electric Company, Kenyon Brady Clark, a project manager, claimed that his supervisor discriminated against him by favoring another female project manager with respect to bonuses, job assignments, and other working conditions, because the supervisor had been, or was, romantically involved with the other project manager.