The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidelines Monday suggesting that employers allow transgender employees access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.
The four-page “Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers” was created at the request of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“Gender identity is an intrinsic part of each person’s identity and everyday life,” the report says. “Accordingly, authorities on gender issues counsel that it is essential for employees to be able to work in a manner consistent with how they live the rest of their daily lives, based on their gender identity. Restricting employees to using only restrooms that are not consistent with their gender identity, or segregating them from other workers by requiring them to use gender-neutral or other specific restrooms, singles those employees out and may make them fear for their physical safety.”
The report further advises employers that “Bathroom restrictions can result in employees avoiding using restrooms entirely while at work, which can lead to potentially serious physical injury or illness.”
An estimated 700,000 U.S. adults are transgender, according to the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.