People learn how the gender neutral law affects establishments - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

People learn how the gender neutral law affects establishments

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YAKIMA, WA - An attorney visited the Yakima Chamber of Commerce today to inform people and business owners about the Washington state gender neutral law and how it affects businesses.  

Last December a law went into effect in the state that allowed transgender people to use the gender segregated facility that they identify with. Gender segregated facilities are restrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms. Since the bill was passed many have been outraged and there was even an attempt to repeal the bill earlier this year, but it was rejected by the state senate. 

At the Chamber of Commerce attorney Luke Eaton spoke to people about how the new law effects establishments. 

"These are newly enacted amendments to the Washington administrative code, so a lot of people may not be aware and if you are not aware employers might be able to face potentially liability or legal issues," said Eaton. 

Eaton said that employers must give transgender people unrestricted access to the restrooms that correspond with their gender identity and adds that as long as there are both male and female restrooms no signs need to be changed.

He also said that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, ruled that it is considered sexual harassment for a supervisor to intentionally and repeatedly refer to an employee by the gender pronouns that they do not identify with. Eaton also recommends that in order for businesses to avoid legal issues they might consider going over the new law with employees and even update their policies.    

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