I really am getting tired of government being on a crusade to make the world more fair. Whether by accident or design, they simply cannot stop creating more entitlements at the expense of…wait for it…business. As a small businessman myself, I am bone-weary of government’s treasured ideal that my business is their checkbook.
Case in point. Last night, I was in bed watching the late news when this story came on KOMO 4, from Seattle:
Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a bill that lets people have easier access to businesses bathrooms.
Gregoire signed the bill Monday and it takes effect July 26.
It went on about people with inflammatory bowel disease needing this bill, and how the bill allows access for people with the right written credential from a doctor or nurse. But then, the clanger:
But it also requires businesses to allow any customer to use an employee restroom if three or more employees are working at the time, and the request does not pose a security risk.
I flew off the bed. My wife laughed, and said “So is that tomorrow’s post?” I wish I could have shared her amusement, but I was a little too busy with my outrage with this new burden on small business. You see, I have had my staff’s time wasted with people wandering in and asking to use the restroom, and then they had to clean said restroom, because these people had trouble positioning themselves over the toilet before opening the bowels and leaving their pungent hershey coating everywhere but in the bowl. This also says nothing about the health of the person using my employee’s restroom.
Under the broad definition of “customer” and “retail establishments” in the text of HB 1138 as signed by the Governor, our law office is basically a public restroom for anyone who wanders in off the street to ask what we charge an hour or what types of matters we handle, and then asks to use the restroom. I see starting to require employees to carry their own toilet paper, so we are not providing it to the world at large, and renovating the bathroom so it is all tile, with a drain in the floor, so we can put on a Racal suit, spray the whole thing down with bleach, and then rinse with a hose.
I am still reviewing the text of the bill, and will review the chapter it is part of, but I’m guessing that we now have to meet some sort of public access standard in some state equivalent to the Americans With Disabilities Act, because we now provide a public potty. Yippee skippy.
And if I chose to defy this fecal tyranny by which the state wants me to provide Thomas Crapper’s blessing on all? According to the Bill, the first offense gets me a letter from the city or county attorney. The second offense is a class 2 civil infraction under R.C.W. 7.80. That’s a maximum fine of $125.oo plus statutory assessments, and perhaps restitution. So either way, I now have a new cost of doing business, and I get the fun that goes with letting the public do their business in my establishment.
This was a major priority of a majority Democrat state legislature and governor last term. Can’t get serious about cuts to address an enourmous budget deficit, but now anyone can take a dump in my office restroom. I sure am glad we got that settled. Something stinks. Maybe its time to flush Olympia clean.