In 2016, Assembly Bill No. 1732, also known as the “All-Gender” Bathroom Bill (Bathroom Bill), was introduced to the California legislature and subsequently signed into law by Governor Brown. The Bathroom Bill was sponsored by California NOW, Equality California, and the Transgender Law Center because “restrict[ing] access to single-occupancy restrooms by gender create problems of safety, fairness, and convenience.” And recently, the bill went into effect.
Before the Bathroom Bill
Prior to the Bathroom Bill, agencies that were open to the public and maintained toilet facilities were required to make them available to the public at no charge. Similarly, both public and private entities were required to maintain a pre-determined number of toilet facilities to accommodate the public and their employees. The Bathroom Bill was added to the Health and Safety Code and mandates that “all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency shall be identified as all-gender toilet facilities.”
What are Single-User Toilets?
Single-user toilet facilities are those that have no more than one water closet and one urinal with a lock that is operated by the user. Single-user toilet facilities may also be designed for usage by no more than one occupant at a time and cannot be designated for assisted family or assisted use. Additionally, the signage must be in compliance with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, which is the Building Standards Code for California.
Limitations of the Bathroom Bill
The Bathroom Bill is limited in its execution because it does not address multi-stall restrooms nor does it change the quantity, specifications, or requirements for restrooms for a business or entity. Nevertheless, educational institutions, including more than 150 colleges and universities are in compliance with the Bathroom Bill. Similarly, an ordinance was proposed to the City and County of San Francisco in January 2016 to “mandate businesses and places of public accommodation designate single-user toilet facilities that are available to the public or employees as all-gender accessible to persons of any gender identity, as specified.”
In conclusion, building inspections beginning on March 1, 2017, by inspectors, building officials, and local code enforcement officers may also be made in compliance with restrictions from the Bathroom Bill. To ensure that your business is in compliance with the Bathroom Bill, as well as other recent changes in legislation, contact experienced business attorney Drew E. Pomerance today.