EEOC Addresses Transgender Employee Bathroom Rights

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a Fact Sheet explaining the bathroom access rights of transgendered employees under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

The key takeaway for employers is the EEOC’s conclusion that employers should allow employees to use the bathroom that corresponds with the employee’s gender identity. In addition, the EEOC has found that an employer cannot avoid the requirement to provide equal access to a common restroom by restricting a transgender employee to a single-use restroom instead (however, the employer can make a single-user restroom available to all employees who might choose to use it). 

The EEOC’s fact sheet is a stern reminder to all employer that “Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sex whether motivated by hostility, by a desire to protect people of a certain gender, by gender stereotypes, or by the desire to accommodate other people’s prejudices or discomfort.” Lusardi v. Dep't of the Army, EEOC Appeal No. 0120133395, 2015 WL 1607756 (Mar. 27, 2015).

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