PA 09-129—sHB 6328

Public Health Committee

General Law Committee

Public Safety and Security Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING CUSTOMER ACCESS TO RESTROOMS IN RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS

SUMMARY: This act provides access to employee restrooms in retail establishments to individuals with certain medical conditions. Specifically, a retail establishment with an employee restroom that typically is not open to the public must allow a customer to use the restroom during normal business hours if the restroom is maintained in a reasonably safe manner and all of the following conditions are met:

1. the customer presents written evidence from a licensed health care provider (physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse) that documents that the customer suffers from an “eligible medical condition” (such conditions are Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, or a medical condition requiring use of an ostomy device);

2. a public restroom is not immediately available to the customer;

3. at least three employees are working in the establishment at the time of the restroom access request; and

4. the employee restroom is located in an area of the establishment that does not present an obvious risk to the health or safety of the customer or an obvious security risk to the establishment.

The act also (1) provides protection from liability for retail establishments and employees under certain conditions, (2) does not require an establishment to make physical changes to the employee restroom to accomplish the act's purposes, and (3) makes violation of the act's requirements an infraction (see Table on Penalties).

RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT, CUSTOMERS, AND RESTROOMS

The act defines a “retail establishment” as a place of business open to the general public for the sale of goods or services. A “customer” is a person lawfully on the retail establishment's premises. A “restroom” means a room with a toilet.

LIABILITY PROTECTION

Under the act, a retail establishment or its employees are not liable for any acts or omissions in providing customer access to an employee restroom if the acts or omissions: (1) do not constitute gross, willful, or wanton negligence by the establishment or employee; (2) occurred in an area of the establishment not otherwise accessible to customers; and (3) resulted in injury or death to a customer or individual other than the employee accompanying the customer to the restroom.

OLR Tracking: JK: DD: JM: TS