Workplace Culture

Transgender Bathrooms as a Solution in Search of a Problem

By Jon Hyman

May. 4, 2016

In the blogging world, when you snooze, you lose. Yesterday, my fellow bloggers were all over the EEOC’s publication of guidance on bathroom access for transgender employees:

Here’s the bottom line.

Like OSHA said in similar guidance nearly a year ago, it is illegal to require an employee to use the bathroom of his of her gender of birth, or a single-user bathroom. Instead, an employer must permit a transgender employee to use the bathroom of the gender with which the employee identifies.

Employers, answer me this. Why do we care? If an employee genuinely believes she is female (regardless of whether she was born a male), why do we care if she uses the women’s restroom? This issue is one of the most glaring examples I’ve ever seen of a solution in search of a problem.

I’m certain I have readers who are thinking, “I don’t want those freaks in my bathroom.” Well, this post isn’t for you (or maybe it’s especially for you). You are doing exponentially more harm to the mental well-being of your transgender employee(s) if you force them into the wrong bathroom or segregate them in a single-gender bathroom, than you are doing to your other employees by having them share their bathroom with their trans co-workers. Any other answer to this issue is bigotry, period. And, in 2016, we should be well beyond institutional bigotry of any kind.

Jon Hyman is a partner in the Employment & Labor practice at Wickens Herzer Panza. Contact Hyman at

What’s New at

blog workforce

Come see what we’re building in the world of predictive employee scheduling, superior labor insights and next-gen employee apps. We’re on a mission to automate workforce management for hourly employees and bring productivity, optimization and engagement to the frontline.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

Workplace productivity statistics and trends you need to know

Summary There was a 2.4% decrease in productivity in Q2 2022 – the largest decline since the U.S. Burea...

productivity, statistics, trends, workplace

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

5 lunch break statistics that shed light on American work culture

Summary Research shows how taking lunch breaks enhances employee engagement and productivity. Despite t...

lunch breaks, scheduling, statistics

workforce blog

Workplace Culture

6 Things Leadership can do to Prevent Nurse Burnout

Summary Nurse burnout is a serious issue in the healthcare business and has several negative consequenc...

burnout, Healthcare, hospitals, nurses