Do I Have To Use The Men’s Restroom?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about restroom facility:

My former employer only had a men’s restroom to use. The women’s restroom is locked up in the office for 2nd & 3rd shift. They asked me to work 1st shift after I was hired for 2nd shift, but 1st shift doesn’t work well for me or my family. Plus the pay is lower. They recently said they were going to build a women’s restroom only because they hired about 10 other women. If I were the only women working there, I’d have to just live with peeing in the men’s room. I also didn’t think it was fair to HAVE to take a pay cut just so I’d have somewhere to use the restroom. Are there any laws against this in PA? I have recently moved on to another job because it pays more and I have somewhere to go to the bathroom and take a shower (I work in machine shop. Is there any action I can take against the old workplace even though I left?

Signed, Angry At Former Employer

Dear Angry At Former Employer:

There is nothing actionable in the previous workplace. You were provided a restroom. It is assumed that restroom doors have locks on the doors and/or stalls. They made a reasonable accommodation to you which is all that is necessary.

Secondly, the company has the right to move employees from shift to shift with shift differential pay. They no longer needed your services on second and thereby switched you to first. If you are looking to make a quick buck here, you better have a lot of money to spend because all the law requires is a reasonable accommodation. Better luck with your present employer. Self interest is natural and necessary. It is best realized when you are WEGO minded.

Dan Kearney, Guest HR Manager Respondent