In today’s world, the everyday business person must negotiate a variety of social issues in a manner that does not negatively impact on the operation of their business or their sales, either through the boycotting of their business or actual demonstrations on their premises. Today, transgender issues, among others, are foremost among the issues that each business may address.
Notwithstanding the individual’s personnel beliefs or stand on an issue like service to the transgender community, in addition to the specific needs of the consumer, the ongoing business should be the primary concern of the entrepreneur. Putting in place a policy for your business that offends no one and provides service to all is the key objective.
To that end, the Supreme Court has recently reversed a decision to review a case where a young boy, born originally as a girl, wanted to use the bathroom facilities designed for boys. In general, there were several reasons for the request, including an appeal to Title IX, a law originally designed to provide equal access to facilities such as sporting teams, to women.
A variety of answers, with reams of public input, have resulted in two sides arguing for alternate actions to address the issue.
This case presents to the business person the essence of the problem – there are honest people on both sides of the argument and taking sides may alienate someone, no matter which side you take. Therefore, how do you position your business to accommodate the largest number of people, offend the fewest and provide a service to those in the community no matter how small a group they represent? The answer is to take no side and try your best to accommodate your customers and employees.
With the case of transgendered individuals, particularly those that may be on your staff, where they would need to have access to bathroom facilities during the period of their shifts, could become problematic. Smaller locations, with bathroom facilities for only one, whether they are men or women, can solve the issue by eliminating the men/women designation on the facility. Everyone has access to a bathroom that services only one person at a time.
Larger facilities with bathrooms that accommodate several people at the same time may have a greater problem and there may not be an answer that accommodates everyone. In general, however, this is an issue that over the years has been practically dealt with by the individuals involved.
There is likely a future change in the law that will impact your operation. So to accommodate that change, take everyone into consideration and run an operation that is the most welcoming to all consumers and employees.
For more information on this issue or any other employment-related issue, contact us at [email protected] or visit our website: danzlaw.net.