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Gender-specific Single-occupancy Bathrooms no Longer Allowed in Illinois

2019 1224 Ideas Post
Dec 24, 2019

Illinois state law was updated earlier this year to no longer allow single-occupancy restrooms to be labeled for men and women, where they're provided in public buildings and places of public accommodation.

The law, enrolled as SB0556, goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Single-occupancy restrooms in all existing and new places will have to comply.

As defined in this amendment to the Equitable Restrooms Act, "single-occupancy restroom" means a fully enclosed room, with a lock the user controls, that has a sink, toilet stall, and no more than one urinal. These are becoming more common, and are especially common in bars and restaurants.

Single-occupancy restrooms can also be used for family or assisted use, but cannot be labeled by gender.

In Chicago, building developers and business owners were already allowed to have single-occupancy restrooms that were "unisex", per a memo from the Chicago Department of Buildings issued October 16, 2017. The updated state law will make it mandatory for single-occupancy restrooms to be labeled without indicating gender.

The Illinois Department of Public Health will formulate rules and regulations for implementation and enforcement.

Image © New York Times