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In 2004, Ally Bain, a Crohn’s Disease patient and Illinois teenager, was casually shopping with her mother in Old Navy until she experienced an event that changed her life. She suddenly had to use the restroom and quickly ran to a manager to ask to use the employees-only restroom. Unfortunately, Ally was denied access and had an accident in the middle of the store.
What happened after that was a joint effort between Ally's mother, other Chron's patients, and State Rep. Kathleen Ryg, Ally worked to get a new law passed in Illinois. The law, formally named Restroom Access Act requires businesses to make employee-only restrooms available to people with inflammatory bowel disease and other medical conditions such as pregnancy and incontinence.
Since this happened, Michigan, Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee and Ohio, Delaware Oregon, Wisconsin, and Connecticut and maybe a few more have realized this is a good idea and passed legislation. So most retailers and employees still don't know that it is a law they need to abide by. There is no special literature needed to prove you have a medical condition and businesses who refuse could be fined $100.
· Chrons And Me [Official Site]
· Restroom Doors No Longer Closed to the Distressed [Tribune]
· Bathroom Power Hour [Racked]