The Restroom Access Act (Ally’s Law)
The Restroom Access Act is a law passed in several states that requires retail establishments that do not have public restrooms to provide access to employee-only restrooms to patrons in need. This can include people who have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), pregnant women, and those who have other chronic conditions.
The Restroom Access Act has been passed in a total of 13 states - Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington.
The Restroom Access Act is also known as “Ally’s Law,” so named for the teen who was spurred to action after she experienced an IBD-related accident. Ally was denied access to an employee-only restroom while shopping.
Rights of owner are:
The request is during normal business hours
The customer requests access and shows a form or card from her doctor
The restroom is reasonably safe for the customer
Restroom access does not create a security risk to the store or its employees
Click here to see an example of an acceptable card.
It should also be noted that customers must have access to a restroom if you have a seating area. If there are issues with the public restroom, you are required to let them use an employee restroom or you must close your facility.