New Federal Mandate Says Bathroom Access “A Must” For Trans Employees

The regulations will affect the roughly 9,200 facilities operated by the federal government.

New regulations will guarantee trans men and women working for the federal government will be able to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

The guidelines, posted this week in the Federal Register, affect workers and visitors at the approximately 9,200 facilities operated by the General Services Administration, from federal courthouses to Social Security Administration offices (but not national parks).

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“Federal agencies occupying space under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of GSA must allow individuals to use restroom facilities and related areas consistent with their gender identity.”

The EEOC’s Chai Feldblum says the new requirements “can change the default for what life is like for federal employees and people who enter federal buildings,” adding that rule is of “great significance.”

BuzzFeed News reports:

Transgender people do not need to complete any medical procedure to qualify to use the restroom that aligns with their gender, nor can they be required to show proof of surgery, the bulletin states. They also cannot be restricted to single-occupancy restrooms.

The president previously issued guidelines directing schools that received public funding to accommodate transgender students by allowing them to similarly use facilities that match their gender presentation.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15:  AFP OUT U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a reception in honor of national Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the East Room of the White House June 15, 2012 in Washington, DC. In the midst of a re-election campaign against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama’s recent declaration of support for same-sex marriage was celebrated as a key endorsement among gay rights groups.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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In response, at least 20 states have filed suit against the Obama Administration.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.