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Workplace bathrooms by gender

Is It illegal for a person to use a restroom of the opposite gender?

Assuming that the restroom is vacant, it does not violate any federal law for a male employee to use a womens restroom, or vice versa. As an employer, you can establish a policy prohibiting this if you like, but it is not illegal. Most often women use the mens room in situations where there are insufficent womens rooms, resulting in long lines.

You may find that female employees object to a man using the womens restroom due to (how can we put this?) poor aim.

It would be inappropriate for a male to use one stall in a womens room while other stalls were occupied by females, or vice versa.

When a workplace toilet is in a separate room (not a separate stall) there is actually no federal law that it must be designated by sex. Some cities and states have building codes that require such designation.

This issue is becoming a hot topic because of the debate of how to handle transgender employees in the workplace. A man who dresses like a woman and self-identifies as a woman may not be comfortable using the mens room, but women may not be comfortable with him in the womens restroom. Usually a workable solution can be found.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 at 11:50 am and is filed under
Workplace Health & Safety.
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