On June 17, New Jersey legislators amended the state’s already extensive Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals based on “gender identity or expression.” New Jersey became the 10th state to expressly prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. (The other states are California, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.)

On Aug. 3, Colorado became the 11th state to enact such protections and, on Jan. 1, 2008, Oregon’s new legislation will go in to effect, making it the 12th state. In addition, several other states have court opinions or executive orders protecting gender identity or expression, and almost 100 municipalities have such protections in place as well. I applaud all the states that afford these protections to employees, and counsel employers to adapt to this ever-changing landscape of anti-discrimination standards.

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