Since the first days of public restrooms in the United States, they have been split for men and for women by a sign that designates it as such. Most thought of this as a natural divide, but those in identity politics have recently shown that this matter is not as simple as many have treated it so far.
We’ve since learned that gender and sex are not exactly the same thing, and someone with a male sex may not identify as having a gender that is not male. For many of these individuals, having to choose one room that aligns with their sex but not their gender is a forced, uncomfortable situation.
While the current bathroom system in America will not be turned on its head any time soon, California has recently passed a bill making it a requirement for commercial properties to demarcate single-user toilet facilities as available to all genders.
A single-user toilet facility is defined in the bill as one that has:
- Only one toilet and one urinal
- A locking mechanism controlled by the inhabitant
Benefits of the New Bill
The bill is not related to the White House decisions related to transgender students, but it does allow a touch of relief to those with gender identities that don’t align with what has been conventional so far.
If one’s office has a single-user facility, it needs to be identified as available to all genders, meaning that an employee uncomfortable with using the women’s bathroom would have the option to use the single-user facility without being singled out for their identity and without the personal or communal discomfort sometimes brought about by other options.
You have the right to a tolerant workplace, and California’s new bill, which has been effective since March 1st, 2017, aims to reinforce that right. If you feel your workplace has not complied with this new law, and it has caused you tangible hardship, action can be taken against your employer.