The Restroom Access Act

Hey all!  I’ve just learned about a bill pending in several states that directly affects my quality of life, as well as that of other people with Crohn’s, celiac disease and other inflammatory bowel disorders.  It allows people with these disorders legal access to the employee toilets in retail establishments– without having to buy something first, search endlessly (New Yorkers, you know what I mean?) or be denied access because of ‘store policy’.

The text below explaining the bill is from the Advocacy Center at Crohn’s And Me:

The bill has passed in Illinois, Minnesota and Texas and is pending in Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Please go here to send a letter to your local representative in just a few clicks:

Ally’s Law:

Ally Bain, a Crohn’s patient and teenager, experienced something that changed her life. While at a national retail clothing chain store with her mother, she suddenly had to use the restroom. They quickly ran to a manager to ask to use the employees-only restroom. But Ally was denied access and had an accident in the store. As she and her mother drove away, they vowed to never let that happen to anyone again.

With her family, friends, and State Rep. Kathleen Ryg, Ally worked to get a new law passed in Illinois. The law requires businesses to make employee-only restrooms available to people with inflammatory bowel disease and other medical conditions such as pregnancy and incontinence. The law states:

A retail establishment that has a toilet facility for its employees shall allow a customer to use that facility during normal business hours if the toilet facility is reasonably safe and all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer requesting the use of the employee toilet facility suffers from an eligible medical condition or utilizes an ostomy device.
  2. Three or more employees of the retail establishment are working at the time the customer requests use of the employee toilet facility.
  3. The retail establishment does not normally make a restroom available to the public.
  4. The employee toilet facility is not located in an area where providing access would create an obvious health or safety risk to the customer or an obvious security risk to the retail establishment.


I’m on my way out of town for a couple of days.  When I return: a post on meeting Anthony Bourdain, and crazy old-school French food at Chez Napoleon in NYC!


2 Responses to “The Restroom Access Act”

  1. KeenEye Says:

    Two things:

    1. I have a friend that had the exact same thing happen at a fabric store; and it was one of the most embarassing things she had ever had happen in her life. I will never, ever shop at this store again.

    2. YOU MET ANTHONY BOURDAIN????? I’m dying right now. I am so smitten with this man. His show is at the top of my DVR list. My hubby and I have an “understanding” if he were to knock on my door, if you get my drift. Seriously. I can’t believe I have to wait two days to hear about you meeting him!!! I’ll be here….

  2. therealpotato Says:

    Interestingly, Crohn’s is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    KeenEye– shit yeah. 😉

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