We reported in November 2011 that the Massachusetts Legislature had passed a bill that would add protection for transgender people against employment, education, housing, and credit discrimination. Please click here to see that alert.

On July 1, 2012, the new Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Act takes effect. The new law expands the list of protected classifications, prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, education, housing and the granting of credit. The Transgender Equal Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of “gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of the individual, regardless of the individual’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.”

Employers must update all employee handbooks, equal employment opportunity policy statements, harassment policies and related employment policies and practices consistent with the new Transgender Equal Rights Act.

Employers should take this opportunity to review their employee handbooks and employment related policies to ensure compliance with the new Transgender Equal Rights Act as well as other recent legal developments related to personnel records, protection of personal information and criminal background checks, among other things.

 


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If you have any questions about this alert or would like to discuss your company’s employment policies, please contact a member of our Employment Law Practice.

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