Sexual Harassment and the Transgender Bathroom Debacle

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This week’s lesson discussed the pervasive issue of sexual harassment in modern workplaces and how such concerns are being addressed. Recently, a North Carolina law requiring transgender peoples to use only bathrooms which correspond with the gender on their birth certificate has sparked a major political debate surrounding the ethics and propriety of such rules.

Proponents of the North Carolina law (and others like it) argue that the comfort and privacy historically afforded to citizens through use of traditionally separate bathrooms is offended when people of the opposite sex are legally permitted to enter such spaces. Opponents of the law argue that it unfairly (and perhaps even illegally) discriminates against transgender people and denies them the right to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender with which they identify. Consider and comment on the following question:

  1. Does the transgender bathroom issue present a potential concern of sexual harassment for employers, based on the definition of sexual harassment provided in this week’s lesson?
  2. What choices may employers make with regard to this issue, and what are the potential outcomes (legally, politically, etc.) of each?
  3. In your opinion, what is the bestpolicy at this time, given the absence of a clear federal law or Supreme Court decision on the matter?
  4. Defend your position with sound legal reasoning (not subjective opinion).

 

Three sources you can use:

http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/173113p.pdf

https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/lgbtq-rights/

https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-bathroom-access-transgender.cfm

Week 6 lesson

Sexual Harassment and the Transgender Bathroom Debacle

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