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Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20170&cosponId=21195
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 7, 2016 04:40 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Restroom Access Act
 
I am reintroducing Senate Bill 137, enacting the Restroom Access Act to require a retail establishment that has toilet facilities for its employees to allow a customer to use that facility during normal business hours if the customer suffers from an inflammatory bowel disease or any other medical condition that requires immediate access to a toilet facility.

This legislative proposal was brought to my attention by a constituent in my district whose child suffers from Crohn’s disease. More than 1.6 million Americans suffer from either Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis, which are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there were more than 58,000 patients living in Pennsylvania with IBD. A common symptom of these conditions is the quick onset of severe diarrhea. There is no known cause of inflammatory bowel disease, or medical cure.

A customer seeking access to a retail establishment’s “employee only” toilet facility must provide some proof (written documentation from a physician or an identification card from an appropriate nonprofit organization) of a medical condition which requires immediate access to a restroom facility. This will ensure that the person requesting restroom access truly has a medical condition. A violation of this Act is punishable by a civil penalty of up to $500.

In prior sessions, this legislation was supported by the Philadelphia/Delaware Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and the Philadelphia Ostomy Association. At least 16 states (Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin) have passed restroom access laws.

The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee has reported this legislation from committee in prior sessions.




Introduced as SB84