A story in the Boston Globe earlier this year was brought to our attention by one of our members with some questions on bathroom access requirements and we believe those questions warrant some further cautionary reporting. The Globe story was on the dilemma of an attorney in Massachusetts stricken with Crohn’s Disease, which at times triggers an acute need for the afflicted to access a restroom. In this instance, attorney Steve Marcus had just such a need, asked to use the employee restroom in a downtown Starbucks, but was denied whereupon he hurried unsuccessfully to find another restroom in time. Also known as the Restroom Access Law, Allys Law was first adopted in Illinois in 2005 and is currently on the books in 15 states. It requires retail businesses with employee toilet facilities to allow customers with specific medical conditions to access them when such a need arises. Ally’s Law generally falls under the aegis of the American with Disabilities Act, prohibiting discrimination against those with disabilities. Currently, some version of Ally’s Law is on the books in: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. The specific language may differ between states, but the basic mandate is the same, so be sure to know if, and to what extent, you may be required to allow restroom access.