Can an employer question which restroom I prefer to use? Is it their right to inform others on this as well?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employer question which restroom I prefer to use? Is it their right to inform others on this as well?

I started a new job Monday. On day
one, I unknowingly used the men’s
restroom. On Thursday, I was
called into a private meeting by
my employer with questions about
which restroom I prefer to use. I
am fully aware that I am female
and prefer to use tge women’s
restroom. After the meeting,
confided in my team lead about the
situation, who proceeded to tell
quite a few people. By the end of
the day, people were coming to me
making jokes and comments about
what had happened. This is a new
job and these people are
strangers. I was so hurt and
embarrassed and felt that I was
discriminated against simply
because I am a lesbian and dress
boyishly.

Asked on March 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your state does not prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation (unlike many other states, which do), so you are not in a protected category on this basis. That being the case, the employer can question you about his, since an employer may ask any questions not specifically prohibited by law. Indeed, one could argue that they had a legitimate interest in this, since a woman using a men's room could implicate sexual harassment policies and liabilty (is the woman harassing men by doing this? is she taking actions which expose her to harassment and make the company liable) or anti-fraternization policies, if any. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your state does not prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation (unlike many other states, which do), so you are not in a protected category on this basis. That being the case, the employer can question you about his, since an employer may ask any questions not specifically prohibited by law. Indeed, one could argue that they had a legitimate interest in this, since a woman using a men's room could implicate sexual harassment policies and liabilty (is the woman harassing men by doing this? is she taking actions which expose her to harassment and make the company liable) or anti-fraternization policies, if any. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption