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OSHA issues guidance on providing restroom access for transgender workers

OSHA_logo -- Aug 2013

Washington – Employers should provide transgender workers with access to restroom facilities based on workers’ gender identity, OSHA stated in a guidance document published June 1.

“Bathroom restrictions can result in employees avoiding using restrooms entirely while at work, which can lead to potentially serious physical injury or illness,” including urinary tract infections and bladder and bowel problems, the guide states.

OSHA’s Sanitation Standard (1910.141) requires employers to provide workers with toilet facilities, and prohibits unreasonable restrictions on employee use of such facilities. Best practice regarding transgender workers’ use of toilet facilities is to allow a person identifying as a man to use the men’s room, and a person identifying as a woman to use the women’s room, according to the guide. It is up to the employee to decide the most appropriate and safest option.

The guide also lists federal, state and local laws that reaffirm the principle of providing employees with bathroom access based on gender identification.