Assemblywoman Mosquera Bill Requiring Baby Diaper-Changing Stations in All Newly Constructed Public Restrooms Clears Assembly Committee

A-3383 would require baby diaper-changing stations in any newly constructed men’s or women’s public restrooms cleared the Assembly Women and Children’s Committee. Bill A-3383 requires places of public accommodation to install changing stations during restroom renovations costing $5,000 or more.

This bill also mandates that the owner or operator install a changing station in the men’s restroom if there is already one in the women’s restroom. The legislation would apply to public places that accommodate more than 25 people and permitting children over three years old. Violators would be subject to a petty disorderly person’s offense with a maximum fine of $500. The Department of Health and local boards of health would be authorized to enforce the bill which would take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment. The Commissioner of Health could take anticipatory administrative action prior to enactment should it be necessary to implement the act.

Men are becoming more involved in the daily care of children. As such, our public facilities should reflect this changing dynamic and give them the same accommodations that women have. There is currently no state statute requiring places of public accommodations to equip public restrooms with changing stations, and the ones that do so voluntarily typically only offer the accommodation in women’s restrooms.

The disparity gained national attention four years ago celebrity dad Ashton Kutcher complained on Facebook about the lack of baby-changing stations in men’s public restrooms. Since then, a Florida father has created a website called “Dads Who Change Diapers” which allows users to enter a zip code and find the nearest dad-friendly diaper changing station.

Looking to address growing concerns, President Barack Obama signed the “Bathroom Accessible in Every Situation Act (BABIES) in 2016 which requires both men’s and women’s restrooms in publicly accessible federal buildings to contain baby changing stations. In October 2018, the U.S. Senate passed a measure mandating changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms.

The Assembly bill was introduced in January 2018. It now awaits further review by the Assembly.