The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which requires that all employers under its jurisdiction provide employees with sanitary and accessible toilet facilities, has issued guidelines regarding restroom access for transgender employees. OSHA advises that all employees should be permitted to use restroom facilities that correspond with the employee's gender identity. According to OSHA, each employee should determine the most appropriate and safest option for himself or herself.
To ensure that employers do not impose unreasonable restrictions on employee use of toilet facilities, OSHA proposes employers make available single-occupancy unisex facilities, unisex restroom facilities with lockable, single-occupancy stalls or other solutions that are safe, convenient and respectful of transgender employees. Employees should not:
- be asked to provide medical or legal documentation of gender identity to access toilet facilities;
- be required, based on gender identity, to use a separate facility apart from other employees; or
- be limited to using toilet facilities that are an unreasonable distance or travel time from the employee's work area.
Earlier this year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that an employer cannot deny a transgender employee access to restrooms used by other employees of the same gender identity; such a denial constitutes direct evidence of sex discrimination under Title VII. The EEOC also ruled it was irrelevant whether an employee has undergone a medical procedure or whether other employees' had negative reactions.
To view the complete guidelines, click here.
Contact a CGWG attorney for more information about these guidelines.