Which Restroom Should Transgender Employees Use At Work?

The Minnesota Supreme Court addressed this question in Goins v. West Group, 635 N.W.2d 717 (Minn. 2001).  Here are the key points from the case that employers in Minnesota should know:

  • Transgender individuals—which the Court defined as people who “seek to live as a gender other than the biological gender attributed to them at birth but without surgery”—are protected from discrimination under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA).
  • The MHRA neither requires nor prohibits restroom designation according to self-image of gender or according to biological gender.
  • It is not unlawful discrimination under the MHRA for employers to require a transgender employee to use a restroom consistent with the employee’s biological gender, as opposed to his or her self-image gender.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on October 20, 2011, in Discrimination and Harassment and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Comments are closed.