Update: On Aug. 18, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) stayed the Section 1557 final 2020 rule’s repeal of the 2016 definition of discrimination on the basis of sex, posted by the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services on June 19. The final 2020 rule removes protections for gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy status that were previously included in the 2016 rule. The 2020 rule was to become effective Aug 18, 2020, but the District Court decision ensures that the 2016 definitions of “on the basis of sex,” “gender identity,” and “sex stereotyping” will remain in effect pending further court or administrative action. However, these same 2016 definitions were the subject of a separate legal challenge, in which a stay was previously granted, preventing those definitions from taking effect. The EDNY did not address specifically whether the injunction would be national. And, because there are active cases pending in several other U.S. District Courts, further developments are expected.
The EDNY’s ruling focuses exclusively on the definition of “sex” and do not address other aspects of the rule, such as requirements related to physical and meaningful access for individuals with applicable disabilities and limited-English proficiency. Thus, the other requirements in the 2020 rule remain in effect as of Aug. 18, 2020.