Please note that this blog post was updated on July 16, 2021 with information about the bill being deferred.
Update: New Bathroom Requirement for Tennessee Businesses Deferred
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee has temporarily enjoined the recently enacted legislation requiring all Tennessee public and private businesses to post a notice to the extent it has a formal or informal policy allowing a member of either biological sex to use any public restroom within the facility.
This preliminary injunction was issued on July 9, 2021 as the result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Tennessee on June 25, 2021 requesting both preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against enforcement of the law on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
For now, and until further proceedings in this matter, the notice posting law that was previously effective July 1, 2021 will not apply to employers in Tennessee.
Original blog post below:
Effective July 1, 2021, all Tennessee public and private entities or businesses with facilities open to the general public, and which have a formal or informal policy allowing a member of either biological sex to use any public restroom within the facility, must post a notice stating such.
This notice must be posted in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act restroom signage standards and must state: “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”
This notice requirement applies to all public restrooms, including locker rooms, shower facilities, dressing areas or other facilities where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the notice should be posted at the entrance of the public restroom as well as the entrance of the building. The notice requirement does not apply to unisex, single-occupant restrooms or family restrooms intended for use by either biological sex.
Employers with facilities in Tennessee that are open to the general public should determine whether their restroom use policies would implicate this new posting requirement. If you have any questions about how this Tennessee House Bill regarding restrooms will impact your business, please contact the author.