Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in October legislation clarifying the definition of “gender” in California. The law, AB 887, makes it clear that discrimination on the basis of gender identity and “gender expression” is prohibited.
Gender expression refers to a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior, whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth. The redefinition aims to protect the rights of transgender people. In the workplace, that means employees must now be allowed to appear or dress consistently with his or her gender expression.
The law redefines gender in existing state law, including California’s sweeping Fair Employment and Housing Act, which comes into play in many employment-law cases.