OSHA provides guidance on restroom access for transgender workers [US]

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a “Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers” on June 1, 2015. The guide contains best practices for providing restroom access for transgender workers.

What are the requirements of OSHA’s sanitation standard to reduce adverse health effects?

OSHA’s sanitation standard, 29 CFR 1910.141, requires employers to provide employees with access to toilet facilities. Employees without access to toilet facilities are at risk of adverse health effects, such as urinary tract infections and bowel and bladder problems. Transgender employees should be permitted access to toilet facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. Restricting access to bathrooms may lead to transgender employees avoiding the use of bathrooms while at work, placing them at risk of developing adverse health effects.

What type of facilities may be provided by employers ?

In addition to permitting employees to use the restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, employers may also provide single-occupancy gender-neutral facilities or multiple-occupant, gender-neutral facilities with lockable single occupant stalls. Employers providing these alternate facilities should not restrict transgender workers from using the facilities associated with their gender identity.

Red-on-line EHS Legal Specialist

Sources :

OSHA Trade News Release, OSHA publishes guide to restroom access for transgender workers, June 1, 2015

OSHA, Best Practices: A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers, 2015

OSHA’s General Industry Sanitation Standard, 29 CFR 1910.141