HR Strange But True!
March 25, 2010

While inequality still exists in far too many places, including the workplace, women have made great strides. A big reason progress has been made is that laws require that men and women be treated equally, such as the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Now, lawmakers want to address another area where parity has remained elusive: restrooms.

The official title of the legislation is the Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act, but proponents are calling it the Potty Parity Act.

The legislation would require that new federal buildings and existing buildings undergoing renovations include the same or greater number of toilets in women’s restrooms as there are in men’s restrooms (including urinals).

The legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Edolphus Towns (D-NY). The bill would also impact future federal projects by mandating that preference for federal leasing considerations be given to buildings that meet this criterion, Towns says.

“Our nation’s history shows that the structure and accessibility of American public restrooms have served as manifestations of more deeply rooted problems of discrimination, among race, physical ability and gender,” said Towns. “In 2010, we must move the clock forward by finally addressing an overdue problem of unequal, inadequate, and inaccessible public restrooms for women.”

Towns noted cases in which women have suffered work-related problems and terminations as a result of unequal and inadequate restrooms.

“As the number of women in all sectors of employment and facets of American life continue to grow exponentially, the Potty Parity Act is necessary not only for the advancement of gender parity, but also to ensure the general well being and health care of women in our society,” Towns said.

Sources: Text of Legislation and Press Statement by Towns

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