Well, now the government tells you where you can go potty.
It’s come to this: On Monday, June 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a guide telling employers which restrooms their workers may use. Basically, it’s up to them.
First, the Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers states that employees can suffer “adverse health effects if toilets are not available when employees need them.” Health effects!? Cue OSHA.
Then the guide outlines the “core principle” that “all employees,” including transgender 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.”
If co-workers don’t like it, tough: OSHA points to an April 2015 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling, which said “a transgender employee cannot be denied access to the common restrooms used by other employees of the same gender identity, regardless of whether that employee has had any medical procedure or whether other employees’ may have negative reactions to allowing the employee to do so.”
And finally, OSHA’s “best practices” guide on restroom use contains the hint of a threat: “Employers should be aware of specific laws, rules, or regulations regarding restroom access in their states and/or municipalities, as well as the potential application of federal antidiscrimination laws.”