California law will require diaper changing stations in men's, women's bathrooms

(KGTV) - A new state law will now require at least one diaper changing station available to men and women throughout California.

Assembly Bill 1127, authored by state Majority Leader Ian Calderon, requires baby diaper changing stations to be installed in men's and women's restrooms in publicly owned state and local buildings and private businesses.

A release from Calderon's office said the balance of parental responsibilities has continued to change, citing Pew Charitable Trusts research that dads spending three times the amount of time with their kids since 1965.

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"Our policies are evolving to meet the needs of families and California is leading the way," Calderon said. "I thank Governor Brown for signing AB 1127. Both moms and dads will now have a safe, sanitary place to change their baby."

The law requires buildings owned by the state or local agency and public venues, such as movie theaters, grocery stores, and restaurants, to be equipped with at least one diaper changing table available to men and women.

The law will also apply to new construction and any restroom renovations that exceed $10,000. The requirement, however, may be waived if a building inspector finds the installation of the station is not feasible or cause a failure in building standards.

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"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," Calderon's release stated. "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  This reflects outdated notions about parenting responsibilities, and certainly does not serve non-traditional family units, like single fathers or families with two dads."

Read the bill's full text here.

Federal action was also taken last year, when then-President Barack Obama passed the "Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act,” requiring male and female restrooms in public federal buildings to have baby changing tables.

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