NYC: Use transgender pronouns or face fines

New York City has issued guidelines to employers and landlords on the correct way to refer to a transgender woman or transgender man. If the rules are not followed, hefty fines will follow.

The Commission on Human Rights says anyone who provides jobs or housing must use an individuals' preferred gender pronouns.  The list of acceptable pronouns is listed on the commission's website.

Some transgender people may prefer ze, hir, he, him, she, her or hers.

The less prominent pronoun 'ze' is the third person singular, he and she; or 'hir' which is the third person plural, similar to they.

Examples of violations are listed on the site, including:    

a.  Intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title.  For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” after she has made clear which pronouns and title she uses.

b. Refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun, or title because they do not conform to gender stereotypes.  For example, calling a woman “Mr.” because her appearance is aligned with traditional gender-based stereotypes of masculinity.

c. Conditioning an individual’s use of their preferred name on obtaining a court-ordered name change or providing identification in that name.  For example, a covered entity may not refuse to call a transgender woman her preferred name, Jane, because her identification says that her first name is John. 11

d. Requiring an individual to provide information about their medical history or proof of having undergone particular medical procedures in order to use their preferred name, pronoun, or title.

Violators could face fines of up to $250,000 if the violation is deemed to be the result of malicious intent.