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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ask a Manager: is my transgendered coworker using the right bathroom?

Alison Green writes the "Ask a Manager" workplace advice column, both on her personal blog and weekly for U.S. News & World Report's Web site. She is also the co-author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results.

This week, she addresses a reader question: is my transgendered coworker using the right bathroom?

A reader writes:

I have a question of how/if/when transgendered coworkers get to be treated as such in the workplace. Specifically, there is a man in our office (widely known as such) who wears women's clothing, hairstyles, shoes, makeup, etc. every day, and refers to himself as 'she'. Some women in the office have been claiming that his use of the women's restroom constitutes sexual harrassment. Employees of both sexes have claimed that if he is male, he's violating company conduct and dress codes by wearing women's clothing to work."


bobbiez said...

What about "sex stereotying" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act? There is a line of cases under Price-Waterhouse which suggest that the circumstances you describe are discriminatory and actionable under Title VII. What do you think?

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss said...

I'm not sure what you are suggesting is discriminatory. Can you point to the specific facts you mean? You are correct, however, that some federal courts have interpreted Title VII sex discrimination to include some forms of gender identity discrimination.