Blog Posts from January 2013
We’ve come a good way towards establishing legal protections for transgender people in New England in the past several years. In 2011, both Connecticut and Massachusetts added gender identity to their anti-discrimination laws, joining Rhode Island (2001), Maine (2005) and Vermont (2007) in providing protections in employment, housing and credit, and, in all but Massachusetts, public accommodations (like restaurants, bars, parks, stores, hospitals, shelters, etc.). But there is still work to do.
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One of the great things about living in New England is that all six states offer anti-discrimination protections for LGBT employees and workers who are living with HIV. Most workers are “employees at will” and can be fired or discriminated against by their employer for any reason or no reason at all. However, states have identified “protected characteristics” and made it illegal to fire or discriminate against an employee just because they possess, or are perceived to possess, one or more of those characteristics. For lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) workers, the protected characteristic is “sexual orientation,” for workers living with HIV, “disability,” and for transgender workers, “gender identity.”