|Passed by the House April 24, 2009|
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate April 22, 2009
President of the Senate
I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1138 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.
Governor of the State of Washington
Secretary of State
State of Washington
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2009 Regular Session|
READ FIRST TIME 02/11/09.
AN ACT Relating to allowing persons with certain medical conditions to access the restroom in a retail establishment; adding a new section to chapter 70.54 RCW; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 A new section is added to chapter 70.54 RCW
to read as follows:
(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Customer" means an individual who is lawfully on the premises of a retail establishment.
(b) "Eligible medical condition" means:
(i) Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or any other inflammatory bowel disease;
(ii) Irritable bowel syndrome;
(iii) Any condition requiring use of an ostomy device; or
(iv) Any permanent or temporary medical condition that requires immediate access to a restroom.
(c) "Employee restroom" means a restroom intended for employees only in a retail facility and not intended for customers.
(d) "Health care provider" means an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under chapter 18.79 RCW, an osteopathic physician or surgeon licensed under chapter 18.57 RCW, an osteopathic physicians assistant licensed under chapter 18.57A RCW, a physician or surgeon licensed under chapter 18.71 RCW, or a physician assistant licensed under chapter 18.71A RCW.
(e) "Retail establishment" means a place of business open to the general public for the sale of goods or services. Retail establishment does not include any structure such as a filling station, service station, or restaurant of eight hundred square feet or less that has an employee restroom located within that structure.
(2) A retail establishment that has an employee restroom must allow a customer with an eligible medical condition to use that employee restroom during normal business hours if:
(a) The customer requesting the use of the employee restroom provides in writing either:
(i) A signed statement by the customer's health care provider on a form that has been prepared by the department of health under subsection (4) of this section; or
(ii) An identification card that is issued by a nonprofit organization whose purpose includes serving individuals who suffer from an eligible medical condition; and
(b) One of the following conditions are met:
(i) The employee restroom is reasonably safe and is not located in an area where providing access would create an obvious health or safety risk to the customer; or
(ii) Allowing the customer to access the restroom facility does not pose a security risk to the retail establishment or its employees.
(3) A retail establishment that has an employee restroom must allow a customer to use that employee restroom during normal business hours if:
(a)(i) Three or more employees of the retail establishment are working at the time the customer requests use of the employee restroom; and
(ii) The retail establishment does not normally make a restroom available to the public; and
(b)(i) The employee restroom is reasonably safe and is not located in an area where providing access would create an obvious health or safety risk to the customer; or
(ii) Allowing the customer to access the employee restroom does not pose a security risk to the retail establishment or its employees.
(4) The department of health shall develop a standard electronic form that may be signed by a health care provider as evidence of the existence of an eligible medical condition as required by subsection (2) of this section. The form shall include a brief description of a customer's rights under this section and shall be made available for a customer or his or her health care provider to access by computer. Nothing in this section requires the department to distribute printed versions of the form.
(5) Fraudulent use of a form as evidence of the existence of an eligible medical condition is a misdemeanor punishable under RCW 9A.20.010.
(6) For a first violation of this section, the city or county attorney shall issue a warning letter to the owner or operator of the retail establishment, and to any employee of a retail establishment who denies access to an employee restroom in violation of this section, informing the owner or operator of the establishment and employee of the requirements of this section. A retail establishment or an employee of a retail establishment that violates this section after receiving a warning letter is guilty of a class 2 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW.
(7) A retail establishment is not required to make any physical changes to an employee restroom under this section and may require that an employee accompany a customer or a customer with an eligible medical condition to the employee restroom.
(8) A retail establishment or an employee of a retail establishment is not civilly liable for any act or omission in allowing a customer or a customer with an eligible medical condition to use an employee restroom if the act or omission meets all of the following:
(a) It is not willful or grossly negligent;
(b) It occurs in an area of the retail establishment that is not accessible to the public; and
(c) It results in an injury to or death of the customer or the customer with an eligible medical condition or any individual other than an employee accompanying the customer or the customer with an eligible medical condition.