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Because NCTE does not provide legal services, we encourage anyone who has faced discrimination to seek legal help.

Public accommodations are establishments that provide goods and services to the general public – which may include (for example) restaurants, theaters, hotels, hospitals, libraries, gas stations, and retail stores.

Businesses that are public accommodations may also be covered by other civil rights laws.

For example, while the customers of a restaurant are covered by laws regarding public accommodations, the restaurant’s employees are covered by laws regarding employment.

The following 17 states have explicit protections: California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington State, as well as the District of Columbia.

More than 200 cities and counties also explicitly prohibit gender identity discrimination even if their state does not.

You have the right to dress and present yourself in a manner consistent with your gender identity.

(Similarly, if a business is covered by an employment law, then an employee’s access to the restrooms is covered by that law.) Denial of access to a public restroom that is consistent with person’s gender identity may be discrimination based on sex and/or gender identity.Which businesses are covered by these laws varies by state.Even if your state’s public accommodations law does not cover sex or gender identity or excludes certain types of businesses, those businesses may be covered by federal or state laws regarding sex and/or gender identity discrimination in health care, housing, education, credit, or employment.Once the agency receives your complaint, they may contact you to discuss your situation.In some cases, the agency may ask you and the business that is the subject of the complaint to participate in voluntary mediation.

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