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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2016 03:06 PM
From: Representative William C. Kortz, II
To: All House members
Subject: Restroom Access Act (former HB 1820)
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce House Bill 1820 from the 2015-2016 Session. This legislation creates the Restroom Access Act to require retail establishments with employee restroom facilities to permit customers to use the facility for medical reasons. Permission extends during normal business hours to customers suffering from inflammatory bowel disease or any other medical condition warranting immediate access to a toilet.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that more than 58,000 Pennsylvanians suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, collectively referred to as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Causes and cures for these diseases have not yet to be identified. A common symptom of the diseases is the sudden onset of diarrhea, creating the urgent need for a restroom.

The Restroom Access Act will require retail establishments to permit a customer to use their facility during normal business hours if all of the following apply: (1) The toilet facility is not located in an area where permitting access would create an obvious health or safety risk to the customer or an obvious security risk to the retail establishment; (2) A public restroom is not immediately accessible to the customer; and (3) The customer provides the retail establishment with documentation that they use an ostomy device or suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease. Consequently, the bill ascribes up to $500 in civil penalties to retail establishments for non-compliance.

Please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this important measure.

Previous co-sponsors: Kotik, Cohen, D. Costa, Thomas, Barrar, Murt, O'Brien, Watson and Hanna

Introduced as HB1134