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California Adopts Broad Gender-Neutral Bathroom Rules–Signage Rules Expand Beyond ADA Concerns

Effective March 1, California’s Equal Restroom Access Act (ERAA) will require some single-occupancy restrooms to have signs indicating they are gender-neutral.

Which Restrooms Does the ERAA Cover in California?

The ERAA applies to all single-occupancy restrooms in businesses, government buildings, and places of public accommodation. “Single-occupancy” is defined as a “toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.”

What Does the ERAA Require?

In short, the ERAA requires single-occupancy restrooms to be identified as gender-neutral by signs. The signs must comply with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.

Each gender-neutral restroom must have at least a geometric sign and a designation tactile sign (i.e. signs including raised letters, accompanied by duplicative Braille, that identify the restroom). The signage is subject to very specific requirements, under Title 24, and companies should seek counsel regarding these detailed requirements. Employers should keep in mind that the raised letters and Braille must be gender-neutral, even though no specific wording is required. For example, the sign can state “Restroom,” “All-Gender Restroom” or “Unisex Toilets” or “Gender-Neutral Restroom.”

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2018


About this Author

Susan E. Groff, Jackson Lewis, disability accommodation lawyer, protected absence attorney

Susan E. Groff is a Principal in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises and counsels management on various employment related issues.

Ms. Groff advises employers on complying with federal and California requirements for disability accommodation and protected leaves of absence.

In addition, Ms. Groff counsels employers on a host of other employment issues, including wage and hour laws, harassment and discrimination complaints, workplace investigations,...


Tony Zhao is an Associate in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.