Q: Had an experience the other day where I went into a business to use the restroom and was told it was not available to the public. What is the law on that?
G.S., Los Angeles
A: With any new construction since 2004, and if the building has a restaurant or is more than 20,000 square feet, restrooms for customers are required. A private employer also has an obligation to provide suitable restroom facilities for its employees, but, despite federal law, a private business is not mandated to make the restroom(s) available to the public. So the question that remains is, what kind of business was involved in your situation?
Q: Does the company I work for have to provide a restroom we can use?
T.C., Long Beach
A: The Office of Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide employees with suitable toilet facilities. The access available must be prompt and sanitary. Employers are also not allowed to impose unreasonable restrictions on employee use of the facilities. You can read more about this at osha.gov/restrooms-sanitation.
Q: What is the law on gender neutral restrooms here?
K.L., Westlake Village
A: Since March 1, 2017, California law has required that single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or governmental agency, be identified as an all-gender toilet facility.
Ron Sokol has been a practicing attorney for over 35 years, and has also served many times as a judge pro tem, mediator, and arbitrator. It is important to keep in mind that this column presents a summary of the law, and is not to be treated or considered legal advice, let alone a substitute for actual consultation with a qualified professional.
Source: Orange County Register