In a week that saw the debut of Caitlyn Jenner, OSHA is working to improve protections for transgender workers.
OSHA published a Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers – a document that offers best practices for restroom access for transgender workers.
The guide, which was developed by request of the National Center for Transgender Equality, explains gender identity, why restroom access is a health and safety matter, OSHA’s sanitation standard and offers best practices for providing restroom access.
"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."
OSHA's sanitation standard requires employers to provide employees with sanitary and available toilet facilities so that employees won’t suffer the adverse health effects that can result if toilets are not available when employees need them.
Beyond offering access to restroom facilities, companies need to ensure that workers can use facilities that correspond to 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.
OSHA last month formed an alliance with the NCTE to develop new resources to educate employers and protect transgender workers.