Transgender Bathroom Policies

Where should this policy reside within an Employee Handbook?

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  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • The logical placement for the policy will depend in part on how the handbook is organized, but generally, the policy can be placed in the same section as the employer’s policies against discrimination and harassment.

  • Thanks, Joan.  Is it mandatory that an entire section on transgender bathroom access be placed into a policy?  If so are there any sample harassment/discrimination policies that include the bathroom usage that we could take a look at? We want to make sure we are in compliance with this new hot topic.
  • It’s not mandatory for an employer to include a section on transgender bathroom access in its policy against harassment/discrimination.  If you choose to include the information, the samples below may be helpful.  As you can see from the samples, it’s not necessary to cover bathroom access in detail, a couple of sentences will likely convey the key points.

    From OSHA’s Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3795.pdf):

    “…all employees should be permitted to use the facilities that correspond with their gender identity. For example, a person who identifies as a man should be permitted to use men’s restrooms, and a person who identifies as a woman should be permitted to use women’s restrooms. The employee should determine the most appropriate and safest option for him- or herself.”

    From the Model Transgender Employment Policy published by the Transgender Law Center (http://transgenderlawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/model-workplace-employment-policy-Updated.pdf):

    “All employees have a right to safe and appropriate restroom facilities, including the right to use a restroom that corresponds to the employee’s gender identity, regardless of the employee’s sex assigned at birth. That is, transgender women must be permitted to use the women’s restroom, and transgender men must be permitted to use the men’s restroom. That decision should be left to the transgender employee to determine the most appropriate and safest option for them.”

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