On November 16, 2011, a bill was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature that would add protection to transgender people against employment, education, housing, and credit discrimination. The bill also amends existing hate crime laws to explicitly protect transgender individuals targeted because of their gender identity. The Transgender Equal Rights Bill defines gender identity and expression as “a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.”

The bill was sent to Governor Patrick on November 16, 2011, and he has already announced his intent to sign it. The law will take effect on July 1, 2012.

You should review and modify your equal employment opportunity policy statement as well as workplace grievance and harassment policies to include this new protected class.



If you have any questions about this alert, please contact the author, Gary Feldman, at (617) 589-3874 or gfeldman@davismalm.com.

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