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New York Enacts Law Requiring Single Occupancy Restrooms Be Gender-Neutral

On December 23, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law Assembly Bill A5240A (“Law”), amending the State’s Civil Rights Law and Education Law to make all single-occupancy bathrooms located in public places, including schools, restaurants, bars, and other establishments, gender-neutral. The Law closely mirrors a similar New York City law passed in 2016, and marks a step toward equal access to public space for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals across the State.

Much like its New York City counterpart, the Law does not require businesses or schools to build new gender-neutral, single-occupancy restrooms. Rather, existing single-occupancy bathrooms must remove any signage designating the bathroom as “male” or “female” and replace it with signage indicating it is open to people of all genders.

The Law goes into effect on March 23, 2021. Employers located in New York should prepare by ensuring all on premise single-occupancy restrooms are clearly designated as gender-neutral (while also taking care to provide signage that complies with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as other applicable state and local laws).

©2021 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 364
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About this Author

Amanda Gomez Lawyer Employment Labor Workforce Management
Associate

AMANDA M. GÓMEZ is an Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. She will be focusing her practice on wage and hour issues and the preparation of employment policies and procedures as well as employee handbooks and manuals.

Ms. Gómez received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was the Executive Submissions Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. While attending Harvard Law, Ms. Gómez served as a Legal Intern at an...

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