Protecting LGBTQ Workers in a Changing Legal Landscape

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


Program Chair:
Ezra Cukor
Supervising Attorney
NYC Commission on Human Rights

  • In recognition of Pride month, the NYC Bar’s Labor & Employment Law Committee presents this timely program covering recent developments under title VII, including Zarda, the provision prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination and Harris, affirming that discrimination against transgender people is covered by Title VII, among others. The program will also cover NYC and NY State protections for LGBT workers, as well as employer best practices for inclusion and preventing discrimination.

    Live Program & Webcast: Free for Members | $50 for Nonmembers

    Members who are Recent Law Graduates, Newly Admitted Lawyers (admitted for the first time in any state or country 2017-2019), In-House/Corporate Counsel, Judges (and their staff who are also members), or attorneys that practice within the Government, Academic or Not-for-Profit sectors attend this program for free.

    No further discounts apply


  • Demoya Gordon
    Supervising Attorney, Law Enforcement Bureau
    New York City Commission on Human Rights
    Ria Tabacco Mar
    Senior Staff Attorney
    Michelle E. Phillips
    Jackson Lewis PC
    Jillian T. Weiss
    Of Counsel
    Outten & Golden LLP


  • 6:00 p.m. – 6:10 p.m. NYS and NYC Anti-Discrimination Protections

    1. NYS Human Rights Law
      1. SONDA
      2. GENDA
    2. NYC Human Rights Law & Rules
    6:10 p.m. – 6:40 p.m. Developments in Title VII

    1. Grappling with the definition of “sex” to extend Title VII’s
      protections to trans and LGB People
    2. Recent Developments: Title VII and discrimination Based on transgender status
      1. EEOC & Stephens v. RG GR Harris Funeral Homes
      2. String of victories in district courts and circuit under Title VII and Title IX
      3. Cf. Wittmer v. Phillips 66 Co.
    3. Recent Developments: Title VII and sexual orientation discrimination
      1. Hively v. Ivy Tech
      2. Zarda v. Altitude Express
    4. What’s on the horizon
      1. In the Courts
      2. Prospects for a legislative fix to ensure nationwide protections.
    6:40 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Best Practices for Creating an LGBTQ Inclusive Law Practice

    1. Understanding the impacts of structural and individual bias on LGBTQ people & mitigating their harms
      1. HRC Survey: A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide (46% of LGBTQ workers say they are closeted at work) (6/2018)
      2. US Trans Survey (2015) illustrates that transgender
        people experience widespread discrimination, including at work and when interacting with government.
    2. Creating an LGBT affirming office & avoiding micro (and macro)-aggressions & micro (and macro)-inequities
      1. Best Practices regarding Sensitivity training concerning LGBTQ issues to strive toward eliminating unconscious and conscious bias
      2. The preparation of a gender transition plan & a Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming Policy so that trans and gender non-conforming staff can participate fully in the workplace
      3. Promoting an awareness of sex stereotyping, misgendering, LGBTQ and Gender Non-Conforming terminology & uncovering the ways in which LGBTQ attorneys and staff are diminished, isolated and treated differently than other cisgender and straight attorneys & staff in the legal profession
      4. Promoting a safe, inclusive workplace in which attorneys feel comfortable being out and bringing their whole selves to the workplace and in representing their clients
      5. Ensuring that personal pronouns, gender transitions, facilities usage, privacy and leave accommodations are honored and respected.
      6. Best practices regarding the investigation of LGBTQ complaints
    3. Practical approaches to representing trans and LGB clients
      1. Working within a shifting framework
      2. Avoiding perpetuating anti-LGBT structural biases in the course of representation
      3. Balancing the client’s individual goals, movement objectives, and ethical obligations


  • CLE Credit
    New York:
    1.5 Total: 0.5 Professional Practice, 1.0 Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias
    New Jersey:
    1.8 General
    1.5 General
    1.5 General


  • Sponsoring Association Committees:
    Labor & Employment Law Committee, Katherine A. Greenberg, Chair
    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Rights Committee, Noah E. Lewis, Chair

    Sponsorship Opportunities are Available! Please Contact:
    Angie Avila, Manager, Membership Outreach and Sponsorships | (212) 382-6608 |