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Proposed city law would make diaper-changing tables more available

Legislation introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang this week would make baby diaper-changing tables available in more restrooms around the city for both men and women.

The San Francisco Bathrooms Accessible for Babies in Every Situation bill, or “BABIES” for short, would require all city buildings to install diaper-changing tables.

It would also require businesses that currently have them in the women’s restrooms to install them in men’s restrooms or in a gender-neutral facility within six months of passage by the board.

In addition, it would require diaper-changing tables to be installed in public serving businesses if the building is going through new construction or substantial renovation of their restrooms.

The legislation is modeled in part on a federal law passed earlier this year that requires diaper-changing tables in male and female restrooms in public federal buildings.

“We must move past gendered roles of childcare, and especially in a city that prides itself on being family-friendly and a leader on issues of gender equality and discrimination,” Tang said in a statement. “This legislation will ensure that all parents have access to sanitary diaper-changing accommodations.”

City law previously required diaper-changing tables in new public serving and substantially renovated buildings, but among other changes, this law moves enforcement of the regulations from the Planning Department to the Department of Building Inspection.

Parents denied a place to change diapers are also empowered to file a complaint with the city’s Human Rights Commission.

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