Labor Law Update: New Equal Access Regulations
- On 9 June 2017
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
New labor regulations specifying protections for transgender persons, including equal access to the use of facilities such as restrooms, will go into effect on July 1st, 2017. The regulations expand protections provided by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The new regulations specifically protect both gender identity and gender expression, including an employee’s right to dress according to their gender identity or expression, regardless of the person’s sex at birth.
The new laws include facilities such as restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and dormitories. The law stipulates that employees cannot be required to “undergo, or provide proof of, any medical treatment or procedure, or provide any identity document, to use facilities designated for use by a particular gender.”
The new regulations also include the following updates:
- Employers are prohibited from seeking proof of an individual’s sex, gender, or gender identity or expression (except in limited circumstances or on a voluntary basis).
- Employers must honor an employee’s request to be identified by a preferred gender, name, or pronoun. This includes gender-neutral pronouns.
- The definitions for gender expression, gender identity, and transgender have been expanded to include “transitioning” employees, specifically protecting such individuals from discrimination.
- The FEHA is being updated to use gender-neutral language throughout, to prevent discrimination or harassment regardless of a person’s sex.