EEOC Issues Fact Sheet About Bathroom Access Rights for Transgender Employees

 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a fact sheet reminding employers of bathroom access rights for transgender employees.  The EEOC reminded employers that not providing the transgender employee the right to use the bathroom of the gender with which the employee identifies could be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The EEOC has reacted to the North Carolina passage of a law blocking local governments from granting civil rights protections to LGBT individuals. The North Carolina bill was adopted into law on an expedited basis a week before a Charlotte city ordinance was set to take effect allowing transgendered individuals to use the bathroom of their choice.

"Transgender" refers to people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g. the sex listed on an original birth certificate). The term transgender woman typically is used to refer to someone who was assigned the male sex at birth but who identifies as a female.  Likewise, the term transgender man typically is used to refer to someone who was assigned the female sex at birth but who identifies as male.  A person does not need to undergo any medical procedure to be considered a transgender man or a transgender woman. 

In addition to other federal laws, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, and sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation). Title VII applies to all federal, state, and local government agencies in their capacity as employers, and to all private employers with 15 or more employees.

The fact sheet which is entitled, "Fact Sheet: Bathroom Access Rights for Transgender Employees Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," can be found at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-bathroom-access-transgender.cfm .

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