A D.C. Council member has introduced a bill that would allow anyone with Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease or who is pregnant to use a public restroom in any commercial establishment in the city.
The Medical Necessity Act was introduced by Ward 2’s Brooke Pinto because many businesses don’t allow the general public to use their restrooms unless they are customers of the establishment in question.
“We have a really big mission in our city to make sure all residents have access to public restrooms in public spaces, which is just a basic necessity we all have, whether it’s a D.C. resident or a visitor coming or some of our most vulnerable neighbors who are experiencing homelessness,” Pinto said, WTTG-TV (Channel 5) reported.
People who qualify under the legislation would be mandated to present a special certificate from the city health department and signed off by their physician. The District’s Office of Human Rights will serve as the agency charged with complaints under the law.
The bill has two provisions that would allow businesses to be excluded under the law. The first is the restroom is far away or in an unsafe location and there must be at least three employees working.
The council voted unanimously to get the bill through the first phase and there will be a second, and final, vote on June 7, WTTG reported.