Effective July 8, 2018, New Hampshire joined many other states in prohibiting discrimination based upon gender identity under New Hampshire’s Law Against Discrimination, RSA 354-A.
The Law Against Discrimination already prohibited discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and housing on the basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability, and national origin, among other characteristics.
Under the amended statute, “gender identity” is defined as “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.” Gender identity can be shown by presenting “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 as part of a person’s core identity provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.”
Sex stereotyping discrimination or harassment, i.e. discrimination or harassment based on failure to act or appear in a way that is expected of an employee because of the employee’s gender, or gender at birth, is also prohibited under state and federal law. For example, an employee may not be disciplined for failing to comply with a gender-specific dress code and may not be harassed for not appearing “masculine” or “feminine” enough.
It is important for New Hampshire employees to know that they now have legal protection if they are suffering from discrimination based on gender identity or sex stereotyping. Please contact Upton & Hatfield if you believe you are experiencing discrimination based on your gender identity or sex stereotyping.