ALBANY – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is pleased to announce that A.1982/S.3295, legislation she authored, has passed the New York State Senate and Assembly and will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law.
The bill would amend the public health law by making employee-only restrooms in places of business open to those in the general public who have an eligible medical condition such as Crohn’s disease orulcerative colitis that requires immediate access to a restroom.
Ally Bain, a teenage girl in Illinois who suffers from Crohn’s disease, was the inspiration for this law in Illinois and 14 other states. Bain had a humiliating experience in which she was denied access to an employee-only bathroom when she was in need of one and no public bathroom was available. A resident of Paulin’s district initially brought this issue to her attention.
“Stories like Ally’s are heartbreaking,” Paulin said. “No one should be forced to endure such a humiliating situation simply because they have a medical condition over which they have no control. This legislation creates a compassionate system for those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases who can be in need of a restroom at any given moment.”
It is estimated that over 600,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease alone, which is an ongoing disorder of the gastro-intestinal tract. It causes swelling of the intestines, creating pain and diarrhea. People who suffer from such diseases often need urgent and sudden access to a toilet facility. This legislation would not create any additional costs to businesses as they are not required to alter their toilet facility. Also, a business would not be required to provide access to their toilet facility when another facility is immediately accessible to the requesting person.
Kemp Hannon (R-6) sponsored the bill in the Senate.