CT Adds Gender Identity to Anti-Discrimination Law

July 22, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - An amendment to Connecticut law prohibits employers in the state from discriminating against their employees based on “gender identity or expression.”

SHRM reports that in the new law, signed by Governor Dan Malloy on July 1, “gender identity or expression” is defined as “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.” 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.”  

The law becomes effective October 1, 2011, and applies to any public or private employer with at least three employees. Employment agencies and labor organizations also are covered. The state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has authority to enforce the law.  

SHRM says employers in Connecticut should revise their employee handbooks and non-discrimination and non-harassment policies to ensure that gender identity and expression are added as a protected class.