OSHA partners with NCTE re: transgender worker safety

OSHA and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) have entered into an alliance to promote gender-appropriate restroom access.

The agreement, signed April 27, is part of a larger OSHA program to partner with groups "committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses."

For its part, OSHA will promote and disseminate a bulletin developed in conjunction with NCTE of recommended best practices for restroom access for transgender workers. NCTE will disseminate general OSHA information on a quarterly basis vis its website and provide opportunities for OSHA representatives to speak at NCTE events.

A report released by NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that 55 percent of transgender people surveyed lost a job due to bias. Twenty-two percent of workers in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey reported that they were denied access to gender-appropriate restrooms on the job.

A 2011 study from the National Center for Transgender Equality found 90 percent of transgender workers have experienced some type of harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job. A 2013 study from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law surveyed transgender people in Washington and shed light on the lack of easy public bathroom availability: Fifty-four percent of respondents reported having physical problems from avoiding public restrooms like dehydration and urinary tract infections.

OSHA has similar alliances with the American Heart Association, the National Council of La Raza and the International Window Cleaning Association.

The agreement will last two years.

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Yes, restroom availability in the workplace...

Robyn's picture

...is a worker safety issue.

[H]aving equal access to restrooms in the workplace is not only a civil rights issue, but a health and safety issue.
This is not something that’s complicated. It’s really just a matter of not allowing fears and assumptions to lead to undue restrictions on workers.

--Harper Jean Tobin, NCTE

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