This issue has already been discussed in detail previously, but it's worth reiterating. Because of the cultural preference for sex segregated facilities, a great deal of sensitivity is required in regard to facilities usage. The employee in gender transition may feel that his/her new gender is not being recognized if they are not permitted to use facilities reserved for that gender. On the other hand, co-workers may differ as to the employee’s gender, raising objections to the usage of any facilities whatsoever, perhaps even threatening a sexual harassment lawsuit if they are forced to share the restroom (though, to my knowledge, no such suit has been successful in the courts).
The company, as the employer, is permitted by law to set the terms and conditions of employment, as long as it does not contravene the law. At the same time, the company has an interest in minimal workplace disruption during gender transition, and each workplace transition presents different circumstances. Therefore, facilities usage should be determined based on neutral criteria that allow flexibility but that respect employees in gender transition as well as co-workers. The five criteria (already discussed in detail previously) are as follows:
- Number of bathrooms within reasonable walking distance
- Availability of single use or lockable bathrooms
- Length of employee’s transition
- Employee’s comfort level
- Co-worker comfort level