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NYC employers, landlords face six-figure fine for ‘misgendering’ transgenders

The latest round of New York City laws ostensibly designed to address discrimination against transgender people includes an expensive provision. According to the city’s Human Rights Commission, it will now cost $250,000 per offense when property owners “misgender” in a “willful and malicious” manner any employee or tenant.

Even if such a supposed offense as referring to a biological male as ‘he’ were committed unintentionally, the law calls for a $125,000 fine for any violation.

Very specific language contained in the revamped Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression ordinance extends far beyond traditional pronouns, requiring New Yorkers to embrace new words invented to describe an even smaller subset of the roughly 0.2 percent of Americans who identify as transgender. In dealing with those who demand special treatment beyond being referred to by the pronoun opposite his or her birth gender, employers and landlords will be required — under threat of a six-figure fine — to use letter combinations such as ‘zhe’ and ‘hir’ instead of ‘he’ and ‘her.’

“Some transgender and gender non-conforming people,” the commission stated, “prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/his, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir.”

It is now the responsibility of those hiring or leasing to transgender individuals to use the preferred pronoun “regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.”

The far-reaching law tackles far more than mere words, though. Preferential treatment for transgenders will also include access to special restrooms, the ability to deviate from uniform standards, and the exceedingly vague promise of “gender-affirming care” to be provided by employers.

Under the new municipal regulations, men will be allowed to wear high heels and wigs to work, females cannot be required to wear makeup to work, and other traditional gender roles are similarly uprooted.

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