Wednesday, March 1, 2017

San Francisco's Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation Requirement

BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Analysis Committee (GAPAC) members have reviewed and submitted suggested amendments regarding a proposal in San Francisco requiring Baby Diaper-Changing stations in bathrooms. The ordinance was introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang and, if passed, would make diaper-changing facilities available to mothers and fathers in their

We appreciate that Supervisor Tang included our recommended amendment that will protect a building owner's respective contract agreement with their tenants. BOMA members were also successful in extending the time frame for compliance from six months to twelve months if the ordinance is enacted.

The legislation has been moving through the San Francisco City Hall legislative process with unanimous support from various policy committees. It is now at the Board of Supervisors for their consideration. We expect this measure to pass unanimously there as well.

Please review the information below to ensure you know what this proposal means for BOMA San Francisco building members and your tenants. Also, for compliance, please be sure to have your legal team review the measure.

What are the requirements of this ordinance?
  • All business establishments and those entities that have public accommodations that maintain a Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation (BDCA) in a restroom available for use by women will be required to install and maintain a Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation in a restroom available for use by men OR available for use by ALL genders.
    • For example, if a women's bathroom in a tenant's space has a BDCA, a BDCA in the men's restroom would need to be installed or a BDCA would need to be made available in a restroom that can be used by any gender.
      • The requirement would also apply to BOMA members who have restrooms available to the public.
What is the definition of Public Accommodation?
  • It has the same meaning as in Title III of the American's with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Section 12181(7) and federal regulation adopted thereunder, as either are amended from time to time.
What is the definition of a BDCA?
  • With regard to this proposal, a BDCA is a safe, sanitary, and convenient baby diaper-changing station, or similar amenity. This may include, but are not limited to, work surfaces, stations, decks, and tables in women's and men's restrooms or all-gender restrooms.
What if installing a BDCA is infeasible due to spatial or structural limitations?
  • The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection can inspect and waive compliance if the Department determines that tenant or BOMA member cannot install a BDCA.
What is the time frame to comply with the ordinance? 
  • Thanks to BOMA's advocacy efforts, it is now twelve months - increased from six months - if the law is enacted.
With regard to compliance, what about a building owners lease contract with their respective tenants? 
  • BOMA members advocated for a clause to be included in the ordinance that the new law, if enacted, protects a building owner's respective contract agreement with their tenants. 
What about new business and public accommodations?
  • If they choose to install and maintain a BDCA in a restroom available for use by women, they will also be required to do so in a restroom available by men or all genders immediately upon opening to the public.
What about new buildings or substantially renovated public service establishments?

  • At least one BDCA that is open and available for use by women and one that is open and available for use by men, or a single BDCA that is open and available by all genders shall be installed and maintained.
    • However, they will need to made available at each floor level containing a toilet room available for use by the public.
    • Exceptions
      • If a San Francisco Building official determines that a BDCA cannot be installed and comply with City, State, and Federal laws regarding access to persons with disabilities.
      • If a San Francisco Building official determines that the installation is infeasible due to spatial or structural limitations.
  • What is the definition of substantially renovated?
    • It's limited to renovation of a toilet room and means that any addition, alteration, or repair project to the toilet rooms, performed under a building permit, with the cost of construction of $50,000 or more for the renovation of one or more toilet rooms.
  • Are there signage requirements for new buildings/substantially renovated public service establishments?
    • Signage at or near its entrance stating "Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation Inside" is required.
    • In a building encompassing multiple establishments and having a central directory, the location of all such accommodations will need to be indicated on the directory.
We'll keep you updated on the progress of this ordinance as it winds it's way through the final portion of the legislative process. Please email with any questions that you have and thank your fellow BOMA members for helping to advocate for the industry!

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