OSHA Publishes Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on June 1, 2015 published a Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers*. The publication provides guidance to employers on best practices regarding restroom access for transgender workers. The guide was developed at the request of the National Center for Transgender Equality, an OSHA Alliance partner that works collaboratively with the agency to develop products and materials to protect the safety and health of transgender workers.

OSHA’s Sanitation standard requires that all employers under its jurisdiction provide employees with sanitary and available toilet facilities, so that employees will not suffer the adverse health effects that can result if toilets are not available when employees need them.

“The core principle is that all employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “OSHA’s goal is to assure that employers provide a safe and healthful working environment for all employees.”

Many companies have implemented written policies to ensure that all employees–including transgender employees–have prompt access to appropriate sanitary facilities. The core belief underlying these policies is that all employees should be permitted to use the facilities that correspond with their gender identify. 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 publication includes a description of best practices and also makes employers aware of federal, state and local laws that reaffirm the core principle of providing employees with access to restroom facilities based on gender identification.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

Source: Department of Labor

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