Assembly Approves Calderon Legislation Requiring Baby Diaper Change Tables in Both Women’s and Men’s Restrooms
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, the Assembly approved Assembly Bill 1127, a measured authored by Majority Leader Calderon requiring baby diaper changing stations be installed in men’s and women’s restrooms in restaurants, department stores and other frequently visited public buildings and businesses in California.
“Diaper changing tables are not readily accessible at all venues, and are even less available to men,” said Majority Leader Calderon. “AB 1127 ensures that our policies evolve to meet the needs of all California families and that both moms and dads have a safe, sanitary place to change their baby.”
According to a 2013 study on modern parenting conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, parenting responsibilities are more equally distributed between partners than ever before, with fathers spending triple the amount of time with their children now than in 1965. Additionally, the number of single father households has increased about ninefold since 1960, from less than 300,000 to more than 2.6 million in 2011.
Currently, there are no laws in California that mandate that publicly owned state and local buildings, or private businesses like restaurants and department stores, provide diaper changing stations in restrooms. Those that do provide diaper changing tables tend to provide these facilities in the women’s restrooms only. This reflects outdated notions about parenting responsibilities, and certainly does not serve non-traditional family units, like single fathers or families with two dads.
AB 1127 would require buildings owned by a state or local agency, as well as public venues such as restaurants, movie theaters and grocery stores, to provide at least one diaper-changing table available to both women and men. This requirement will apply to all new construction and any restroom renovations that exceed $10,000. Local building inspectors or a local permitting entity will enforce the requirement as part of their existing inspection process.
“Without male access to changing tables, the diaper change burden falls only to the mother, or, in cases where no changing table exists at all, parents are compelled to get creative – usually resorting to diaper changes on tables at restaurants or even on bathroom floors,” expressed Majority Leader Calderon.
AB 1127 is consistent with federal action taken last October, when President Obama signed the “Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act,” requiring that male and female restrooms in public federal buildings be equipped with baby changing facilities.
Contact: Lerna Shirinian (562) 692-5858