The DC Center is proud to announce important updates in our ongoing project to ensure that all single stall restrooms in the District of Columbia are gender neutral. These important changes in restroom signage would provide safe access to bathrooms for those individuals who may feel uncomfortable using a restroom that is labeled only male or female.
Current Human Rights law requires that single stall restrooms be gender neutral. Unfortunately, neither the Department of Health or the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs enforce this law, which was passed more than two years ago.
Here are current updates for the DOH and DCRA:
Department Of Health Update:
Language regarding gender neutral restroom signage regulations that will appear in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Food Code Regulations were published in the D.C. Register on May 4, 2012. This regulation requires a 45-day Council review period and a 30-day public comment period, which has already expired. Currently it is in the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs in the Mayor's Office for final approval and their submission to the Council for review.
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Update:
The provision on gender neutral signage in the DCRA construction code update will be published in the D.C. Register this week. These proposed changes in the plumbing code will require single-occupant bathroom facilities to have gender-neutral signage and will update the American Water Works Association's standards reference numbers for backflow prevention assembly. Once the review and public comment period have expired, the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs will review for final approval and submission to council. Visit the DC Municipal Regulations and Register website here to read the full notice of proposed changes.
As indicated in the full notice of proposed changes, these changes call for the DCRA to fully enforce equal protections for all regarding single occupancy bathrooms. Thank you to the Office of Human Rights and the Mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs for updating us on this issue.
If you see a single-stall bathroom that is not compliant with the policy, please snap a picture with your phone or camera and email it to us at email@example.com. Make sure to include the name and address of the restaurant so we can follow up with them and file a complaint. Help end this discrimination and make it safe for all of us to use the bathroom!