On September 29, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new bill requiring that all single-occupancy restrooms in the state be identified as “all gender.”

Under existing law, a business owner or public agency that is open to the public must maintain a sufficient number of temporary or permanent toilet facilities to meet the needs of the public and to meet the needs of employees.  With the new legislation, all business establishments, places of public accommodation, and government agencies will also be required to identify all single-user toilet facilities as “all-gender” with signage that complies with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.  A single-user toilet is defined as “any toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.”

The bill goes into effect on March 1, 2017.  Although the bill is likely to be considered a minor change for employers who currently provide single-user toilet facilities, employers should not shirk their new responsibilities.  The bill empowers inspectors, building officials, and other local officials with authority to ensure compliance.