Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

'Potty Parity Act' introduced in Congress

May 5, 2010
WASHINGTON — To address the insufficient number of womens'' restroom facilities in federal buildings, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Edolphus Towns introduced the Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act (H.R. 4869) — also known as the "Potty Parity Act," according to Contractor magazine.
If adopted, the policy would require any federal building constructed for public use to have a 1:1 ratio for toilets and including urinals in womens'' and mens'' restrooms, the story stated.
An unnamed spokesperson for the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said: "The House and Senate office buildings as well as the Capitol lack restroom parity, which is a main precipitant for this legislation. The primary reason for this deficiency is because women did not and were not expected to compose a significant portion of the federal workforce. And, these buildings were constructed well before any state enacted any kind of restroom parity legislation. The only way in which an older building would have to be retrofitted is if the said building undergoes ''major renovations.'' However, the definition of ''major renovations'' has not yet been specified. This bill is more of a safeguard to ensure that buildings will not continue to be constructed in the same manner as the buildings where federal employees currently work."
Though there is currently no federal law for restroom parity, plumbing codes like the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials'' (IAPMO) Uniform Plumbing Code, which requires that the minimum number of fixtures shall be calculated at 50 percent male and 50 percent female — based on the total occupant load — have been addressing this issue for sometime, the story noted.
H.R. 4869 would impact future federal projects by mandating that preference for federal leasing considerations be given to buildings that meet the "potty parity" criterion, the story added.
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