Reading the (Bathroom) Signs
By Karina B. Sterman
Under prior law, single-user restrooms were permitted to be designated as either for men only, for women only or for all genders. That is about to change.
Effective March 1, 2017, all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency must be identified as all-gender toilet facilities. Covered entities will no longer be able to limit single-user restrooms to only men or only women, and will have to have new signs that comply with the statute. They should also be designed for use by no more than person at a time, unless otherwise needed for a family or assisted use. CA Health & Safety Code §11860.
Although no express penalties are set forth, the law does indicate that during an inspection of the facility by an inspector, building official or other local official responsible for code enforcement, that person may inspect the single-user toilet facility for compliance with the statute.
For purposes of the statute, a single-user toilet facility means a toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.
If you have any questions about whether this new statute impacts your business, please contact a member of the Employment Law Group: