As many know, New Hampshire law presently protects individuals from discrimination in employment, public and housing accommodation on the basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability and national origin. However, New Hampshire will add one more protected class! On July 8, 2018, New Hampshire will add gender identity to its list of protected statuses under its state anti-discrimination statute, RSA 354-A. (A copy of the changes to RSA 54-A may be found here).
The amended statute defines gender identity 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.” The statute further states that gender-related identity may be shown through medical history or medical care for gender related identity, a uniform assertion of such, or “any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity….”
New Hampshire employers must update their handbooks and polices to include gender identity and expression as additional rights falling under protection against discrimination. Employers may also want to consider providing employees with additional training in this area as part of an overview of such policies. All employers or human resource professionals should contact an employment attorney to address any workplace issues related to policies, training or work place discrimination.