Having Crohn’s Disease, I often need to find a bathroom wherever I might be. Well, not always does a retail establishment have a public bathroom, and for someone like me, that can be shitty (literally).

Well, I just found out about a law passed in Illinois, called the Restroom Access Act, or Ally’s Law, named for the young woman who pushed for it after having an embarrassing situation. It’s not just for Crohn’s people, but for anybody that has a medical condition that requires them to go to the bathroom a lot. Apparently, it’s also being considered in twelve other states. Here’s what the conditions are for Illinois’ version:

Requires a retail establishment that has a toilet facility for its employees to allow a customer to use that facility during normal business hours if the
following conditions are met:
(1) the customer requesting the use of the employee toilet facility suffers from an eligible medical condition or utilizes an ostomy device;
(2) three or more employees of the retail establishment are working at the time the request is made;
(3) the retail establishment does not normally make a restroom available to the public;
(4) the employee toilet facility is not located in an area where providing would create an obvious health or safety risk to the customer;
(5) a public restroom is not immediately accessible to the customer.
Provides circumstances in which the retail establishment or an employee would not be civilly liable for any act or omission in allowing a customer to use an employee toilet facility. Provides that a retail establishment is not required to make any physical changes to an employee toilet facility.

Provides a penalty of not more than $100 for a violation of the Act

I don’t see why I should have to worry any more about Crohn’s (which I certainly didn’t ask for and would rather not have) than I have to, because some stingy shop owner doesn’t want to do a good deed and allow me to use their bathroom for a few minutes.  If I’m not causing a disturbance or being arrogant about it, I don’t see why not.

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