Governor Hochul today signed legislation (S.5933-A/A.8133) that will direct the Department of Labor to conduct a study on the statewide employment rate of trans individuals in the state, in consultation with the Division of Human Rights. This study will be used to determine whether there is a disparity of employment rates between transgender New Yorkers and other residents in New York State.
“As the birthplace of the movement for LGBTQ+ equality, New York must always push forward to ensure all New Yorkers are treated with dignity and respect,” Governor Hochul said. “For too long, trans individuals — especially in communities of color — have faced significant obstacles to economic success. That’s unacceptable. Thanks to this new law, New York will be able to study these inequities so we can develop the legislative solutions to eliminate them once and for all.”
By conducting a statewide survey through the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights, further legislation can be drafted that is specifically tailored to the needs of trans New Yorkers. Nationwide studies have found that transgender persons face higher rates of unemployment, workplace discrimination, harassments and violations. A survey from the Office of the New York City Comptroller found higher rates of homelessness among Black and Hispanic transgender individuals.
State Senator Kevin S. Parker said, “Thanks to passage of S5933A and the implementation of its study on the employment of transgender persons within the state, we can encapsulate verified data on the disadvantages transgender individuals face in obtaining employment and maneuvering through the workforce. A preliminary study by the state’s Department of Labor and its Division of Human Rights will help ensure that the necessary steps are taken so that transgender individuals are afforded the same opportunities to make a livelihood as the population at-large. I applaud Governor Hochul for her consistent support in the protection of transgender rights and for her continuous efforts to ensure that all people are treated fairly.”
Assemblymember Amy Paulin said, “Unfortunately, transgender people still face discrimination and other barriers in obtaining and keeping jobs. This study will provide the data we need as policymakers to craft effective solutions to end these disparities.”
Governor Hochul has been a steadfast advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. In her first budget, Governor Hochul worked with the legislature to include a historic $13.5 million investment in LGBTQ+ health and human services funding and also required state agencies to make an “X” gender designation available to the public on state forms that collect such information. Governor Hochul has also signed major legislation to support LGBTQ+ New Yorkers, including creating the Lorena Borjas Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund and the Gender Inclusive Ballot Act.
The New Pride Agenda Executive Director Elisa Crespo said, “We’re thrilled the Governor is signing this very important bill that directs the department of Labor to study the employment status of transgender New Yorkers. For far too long trans people have suffered from deep poverty and income inequality. We look forward to the crucial data the study will produce and even more so to partnering with the state to help create innovative ideas that will raise the economic status of the many trans people who call New York State their home.”
Destination Tomorrow Executive Director Sean Coleman said, “Once again Governor Hochul shows members of the trans community that she understands what a true ally is. Time and time again Gov Hochul has signed key legislation that will have significant impact on the lives of everyday trans New Yorkers. The signing of S.5933-A/A.8133 will provide transadvocates data that highlights the disparities within employment and job opportunities, allowing discussions around viable solutions. We at Destination Tomorrow applaud Governor Hochul for her continued leadership.
Equality New York Chairwoman Teri Wilhelm said, “As a trans-woman, I wake with this burden each day that all transgender people, especially the feminine and those with black and brown skin, do not receive fair opportunity to be employed, be fully employed or succeed in careers. There are at least five transgender people for every thousand in New York, but how many physicians, educators, carpenters or even grocery store clerks are representative of this community?It is despicable. However, together, with our political allies, activists and this supportive governor, this legislation might be that first shovel of earth to move the most doubtful and begins building a better future for transgender New Yorkers.”