• Are Your Bathrooms Ready for All-Gender Use?
  • April 28, 2017 | Authors: Katherine A. Hren; Richard S. Rosenberg; Justin Youngs
  • Law Firm: Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt LLP - Encino Office
  • Effective March 1, 2017 all "single-user toilet facilities" in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state/local government agency must be identified as available for use by all genders.

    A "single-user toilet facility" is defined by the new law as a toilet facility with no more than one stall and one urinal, and includes a locking mechanism controlled by the user. The bill does not apply to multi-stall restrooms, meaning a restroom that can be used by more than one person at a time.

    For all bathroom signs, entities must generally comply with the California Building Standards Code (CBC) enumerated in Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. New signage may or may not be required under the new law depending on what signage is currently utilized for single-user bathrooms. CBC Section 11B-703.7.2.6 permits the use of geometric signs to identify an all-gender bathroom. The appropriate geometric sign for an all-gender bathroom would be a triangle superimposed over a circle (see below). Thus, if a business with a single-user bathroom currently utilizes this sign, no changes are needed. However, if the sign indicates one gender over another, it must be changed to identify an all-gender bathroom.

    Although the regulations state that it is preferable if geometric signs do not include writing, any non-raised characters or visual pictures of the toilet symbol and the wheelchair symbol are allowed, as well as the term "all-gender" written within the geometric signs if the letters are flushed to the surface. Additionally, tactile signs and pictograms are permitted as long as they comply with the CBC requirements regarding lettering, braille, size, and mounting (CBC Sections 11B-216.2, 11B-703.4.1, 11B-703.4.2, & 11B-703.6).