Connecticut bends gender rules

New law bans gender identity discrimination

It should come as little shock to most employers that discrimination on the basis of gender is not only a bad idea, but also illegal. But one state has now joined with more than a dozen others in adding a twist to this rule. Continuing with the recent trend of progressive policies passing in state legislatures, Connecticut has approved an amendment taking this common-sense approach one step further, and will now include gender identity on the list of protected classes under the state’s employment law.

The amendment, HB 6599, which was signed by Governor Dan Malloy July 1, mandates that all employers with three or more employees are prohibited from making employment decisions based on “gender identity or expression.” The law previously held that employers could not discriminate based on gender or race.

According to the law, “‘Gender identity or expression’ means 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, which gender-related identity can be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, part of a person’s core identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose.”

Not all employers are affected, however, as the state allowed for religious corporations or entities to set their own employment guidelines.

The bill will go into effect October 1.

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