Transgender Protections Expanded In California With All-Gender Restroom Law

Fisher Phillips
Contact

Fisher Phillips

On Thursday, September 29, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation which will require all single-occupancy restrooms in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency to be identified as “all gender” and be universally accessible. The bathrooms to which this law applies are toilet facilities with no more than one water closet and one urinal, and with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.

The new law, which is touted as the most inclusive restroom access law in the country, goes into effect in March 2017. Public inspectors or building officials may check for compliance during any inspection. Therefore, employers should immediately change all signage used for their single-user restrooms to ensure none are designated as male or female-only.

Requiring gender-neutral bathrooms in California is consistent with the current overall trend of affording greater protections to the state’s transgender population. California’s new law comes into effect following the Department of Fair Employment & Housing’s (DFEH) guidance issued in early 2016 requiring employers to allow transgender employees access to restroom and locker room facilities which correspond to their gender identity.

The DFEH’s guidance parallels an April 2015 decision of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under federal law and a June 2015 “Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers” published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The issue of gender neutral bathrooms remains controversial. Governor Brown authorized California’s new law just days after he passed a bill limiting state employee travel to North Carolina due to its transgender bathroom law. The controversy surrounding North Carolina’s law has resulted in the state losing up to billions of dollars in canceled conferences, sporting events, and concerts.

Employers should stay alert as gender-neutral bathroom laws continue to develop.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fisher Phillips | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Fisher Phillips
Contact
more
less

Fisher Phillips on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.