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New federal law mandates baby change tables in all men’s restrooms within all federal buildings

The US Congress and Barack Obama have taken steps to eliminate gender discrimination by passing The Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act or BABIES Act. This law will make baby change tables mandatory in women’s and men’s restrooms in all federal buildings. As this new public law will be in full effect within 1 year, all those involved in construction, alteration and acquisition of public buildings must ensure that their work is up to date and meet the federal code.

This law applies to buildings such as social security offices, courthouses and post offices. If these restrooms do not have changing tables, hallway signs must direct parents to the nearest facilities. The law doesn’t cover restrooms that aren’t in public buildings, such as restaurants or retailers, and those in buildings that can’t safely support changing facilities.

Public Law No: 114-235 (10/07/2016)

Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation or BABIES Act – (Sec. 2) This bill requires restrooms in a public building to be equipped with baby changing facilities that the General Services Administration (GSA) determines are physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate. “Public building” means a public building controlled by the GSA’s Public Building Service.

Such requirement shall be subject to any reasonable accommodations that may be made for individuals in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Such requirement shall be inapplicable:

  • to a restroom in a public building that is not available or accessible for public use,
  • to a restroom that contains clear and conspicuous signage indicating where a restroom with a baby changing table is located on the same floor of such building,
  • if new construction would be required to install a baby changing facility in the building and the cost of such construction is unfeasible, or
  • to a building not subject to an alteration for which any appropriations must be approved by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The US Congress Legislation: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5147

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