SAN FRANCISCO—Legislation written to expand the quantity of restrooms-both men and women, installed with diaper-changing tables was introduced on Tuesday, December 13 by San Francisco Board of Supervisor Katy Tang.
President Obama signed the legislation, “Bathrooms Accessible for Babies in Every Situation Act” or the BABIES Act, on October 7, specifically mandating that federal buildings with public restrooms be equipped with diaper-changing tables. According to Congress, the following situations would be considered “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,
- 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.
Tang plans to require all city buildings in San Francisco to have baby-changing accommodations. Buildings with appropriate tables will be required to provide them in men’s restrooms as well as gender-neutral restrooms if applicable.
Current San Francisco legislation requires new businesses to have diaper-changing tables, as well as businesses undergoing major renovations. Tang plans to enforce the requirements through the Planning Department in compliance with the Department of Building Inspection.
In a statement Tang said, “This proposed legislation goes beyond just providing a convenient and sanitary place for parents to change diapers. I hope this new law causes us to question and break down existing stereotypes about child care,” said Tang in a statement.
The city of Philadelphia recently passed a bill that requires baby changing tables in public restrooms.