King County, Washington State – switches to gender neutral toilet facilities

King County, Washington – switches to gender neutral toilet facilities

Starting Dec. 1, 2019, restaurants in King County with single-use toilet facilities shall not be restricted to a specific sex or gender identity, and must use gender-neutral signage to indicate such facilities are designated for use by anyone, regardless of sex or gender identity. This new requirement only means changes for restaurants outside of Seattle, since the city enacted similar requirements in 2016.

The rule also streamlines toilet facilities requirements for food service businesses in King County by removing outdated and redundant language and instead referring to the state of Washington’s plumbing systems provisions.

In a win for members, the King County Board of Health accepted feedback from your government affairs team to ensure that the revised rule does not change the requirements for number or type of restrooms and aligns with existing law at the state and in the city of Seattle. They also agreed to a six-month implementation timeline to ensure businesses have adequate time to learn about the change and update their signage to comply.

Compliant signage will indicate that single-occupant restrooms are not restricted to a single gender. Examples of include signs with the words “washroom,” “restroom,” “all-gender restroom,” “gender-neutral restroom” or “unisex” or that use images to indicate that restrooms are accessible to all genders.

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