Mapping Gender Identity Discrimination

In Yesterday’s Advisor, Joan Farrell, JD, senior legal editor at BLR®, discussed how to avoid gender identity discrimination. Today we’ll see where these laws exist, and in what way.

LGBT employment rights map: Which states prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination?
Editor’s note: This map has been updated (January 29, 2016) to reflect the laws that have passed in New York prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Which states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation? Which states also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity? The LGBT employment rights map below provides a snapshot of which states around the country have enacted such laws. Below the interactive map is a listing of cities and municipalities that have similar prohibitions.
Note: The map is best viewed using Firefox or Chrome. If you are using Internet Explorer or are otherwise having trouble viewing the interactive map, here is a static version:

Click here to view the full map.
For many states where there are no state laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, there are a number of cities and municipalities that have passed such legislation. Below is a partial list of these cities and municipalities. Those that only specifically prohibit sexual orientation discrimination (and do not expressly refer to gender identity) are indicated with an asterisk.

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Miami, Orlando, and Palm Beach, Florida
  • Atlanta*, Georgia
  • Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne*, Indianapolis, and Marion County, Indiana
  • Covington and Lexington/Fayette County, Kentucky
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri
  • Omaha*, Nebraska
  • Cincinnati, Ohio (sexual orientation and “transgendered status” protected)
  • Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas
  • Alexandria* and Arlington*, Virginia

Meanwhile, states such as Montana and Ohio prohibit sexual orientation discrimination by state employers only.
Likewise, although not all states that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination have state laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, some cities in those states in the map above have laws that specifically prohibit gender identity discrimination, such as Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
So, it’s important to be aware of any laws or ordinances in your own backyard, as well as in your state!