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Gender Identity and Gender Expression Claims

Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Gender Expression Doesn’t Need to Be Tolerated

New Jersey has been at the forefront of protecting workers from discrimination on the bases of gender identity and/or gender expression.

While the Supreme Court of the United States only recently tackled the issue of whether gender identity and expression are protected under the law, New Jersey added gender identity and expression to its list of protected categories in 2006. Because of that amendment, it is unlawful for employers to refuse to hire, fire, or otherwise discriminate against employees on the bases of their gender identity or expression.

Unlike federal law, Title VII, the amendment to the Law Against Discrimination specifically provides protection to workers on the bases of gender identity and gender expression claims. As such, there is no need to argue about whether gender expression and/or gender identity is a form of gender discrimination.

What Does Gender Identity Mean?

Gender identity or expression, under the law, are defined as “having or being perceived as having a gender related identity or expression whether or not stereotypically associated with a person’s assigned sex at birth.”

Gender identity generally refers to a person’s own personal experience of their gender. What’s that mean? Well, while some people identify as either a man or woman, some people identify as neither a man nor a woman. Yet others may identify as both a man and a woman or between genders and yet others identify as not having a gender at all.

Regardless of how you may identify, the Law Against Discrimination protects you from discrimination or harassment on that basis.

How Is Gender Identity Different From Gender Expression?

Gender expression refers to how people show their gender outwardly and does not necessarily match gender identity. Also, while sometimes the way people express their gender is consistent with what is socially viewed as the norm for their gender, other times it is not. That means that someone who identifies as a man may dress in what is traditionally considered women’s clothing and vice-versa and/or people who identify as either gender may wear gender-neutral attire.

Are You Dealing With Discrimination Because of Your Gender Identity or Expression?

Unfortunately, gender identity and gender expression discrimination are two forms of discrimination that some supervisors and employers still feel comfortable engaging in blatantly even though it is against the law. If you are being or have been discriminated against because of the way in which you identify or express your gender, call the attorneys at Lenzo & Reis, LLC, at (973) 845-9922 because we not only regularly handle both gender identity discrimination and gender expression discrimination claims, but also because we stand firmly with the LGBTQ community. Our knowledgeable lawyers represent people in Morristown, Newark and Jersey City, and throughout New Jersey.

Client Reviews
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"Professional and Knowledgeable Attorney. At what was supposed to be the highest point in my career suddenly became the most harassing and lowest point of my career and I was passed over for a promotion. Not because the other person was more qualified than I was, but because I followed the law and did the right thing and the people I worked for did not like that. After researching several attorneys, my wife and I found Claudia, and the decision to retain her was the best decision we ever made. After explaining our case to Claudia, we found that she was not only extremely professional but a very caring human being. Throughout the entire process of our case, Claudia was there with us every step of the way. She explained every single proceeding that we had to go through and guided us, not only as a professional attorney in and out of court, but personally as a caring and understanding person. Because of her extensive working knowledge of employment and labor laws, Claudia was able to successfully resolve our case. My wife and I will always be extremely grateful for Claudia’s hard work and dedication, and we highly recommend Claudia Reis to anyone seeking an attorney who practices in employment and labor laws." John
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"Professionalism, integrity, and determination. Outstanding representation! Chris Lenzo did an outstanding job in my employment discrimination case. He responded to my questions in a timely fashion, provided clear communication through each step of the process, and handled my case in an honest and straight forward manner. Chris’s expertise in employment law along with his hard work ensured justice would prevail in my case and got me the compensation I deserved. Likewise, Chris’s law firm staff was professional, courteous, organized, and effective. I highly recommend Chirs Lenzo’s firm to anyone with an employment legal matter in New Jersey or New York." Sofia
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"Remarkable professional. I have worked with Ms. Reis and her firm for the past three years. During the consultation process, you will immediately experience her compassion as she offers suggestions and guides you through the difficult situation you are dealing with. Her attention to detail, timely follow up and candid manner ensured me that I was well-protected and represented. Ms. Reis always went above and beyond to protect me legally. She is a very strong and tough (when necessary) advocate for the individual she represents. Her support staff is equally diligent. I would recommend her without reservation." A.M.