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Governor Polis signed the Gender Identity Expression Anti-Discrimination Act

On May 20, 2021, Governor Polis signed the Gender Identity Expression Anti-Discrimination Act (“Act”) (HB 21-1108) which prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual based on their “gender expression” or “gender identity.” Gender expression is defined in the Act as “an individual’s way of reflecting and expressing their gender to the outside world, typically demonstrated through appearance, dress, and behavior.” Gender identity is defined in the Act as “an individual’s innate sense of their own gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth.” The Act also broadens the definition of “sexual orientation” under existing law to include “an individual’s identity, or another individual’s perception thereof, in relation to the gender or genders to which one is sexually or emotionally attracted, and the behavior or social affiliation that may result from the attraction.” The Act takes effect on or about September 6,n 2021. Employers should review and revise employment handbooks, policies and procedures to ensure prohibitions on discrimination include individuals based on gender expression and gender identity. Handbooks, policies and procedures should also account for the expanded definition of sexual orientation. Finally, anti-discrimination/harassment training offered by employers should incorporate the heightened protections under the Act. Employers with specific questions regarding the Act’s implications should of course consult with legal counsel.

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Denver, CO 80290

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