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New policy language required

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has voted to interpret the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act’s prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation. Accordingly, in the view of the state’s enforcement agency, employees are now protected from discrimination based on their gender identity and sexual orientation.

Employer next steps

All Michigan employers should review their current sexual harassment policies and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies to ensure they meet the policy requirements. Employers should add the following language to their policies, if they have not already done so:

“We also comply with Michigan law, which prohibits discrimination and harassment against any employees or applicants for employment based on disability, religion, race, color, national origin and ancestry, age, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity and pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), height, weight, familial status, marital status, genetic information, civil air patrol membership and membership in the military or naval forces of Michigan or of any other state.”

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