Recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued an Executive Order requiring New York City agencies to guarantee their employees and members of the public are granted equal access to City single-sex facilities consistent with their gender listed on their birth certificate. In a statement de Blasio stated how “access to bathrooms and other single-sex facilities is a fundamental human right that should not be restricted or denied to anyone.” As a result, it’s safe to say that New York City’s hospitals are going to and have been experiencing a lot of changes!

The NYC Health + Hospitals network has already started taking their steps as “a leader in LGBTQ care and the public health system that is fully committed to the principles of equality embodied in the Mayor’s Executive Order,” said NYC Health + Hospitals CEO, Dr. Ram Raju. Our team at GDS has begun installing gender code signage and for a number of our other clients and will continue to do so in ensuring NYC facilities are safe havens for gender non-conforming individuals.

How Are NYC Hospitals Affected by Executive Order 16?

While the absolute last day for signs to be completed is January 1, 2017, de Blasio reinforces that restroom identification signs are to be completed immediately and inspections have begun months ago. The restroom code will bring a lot of changes into New York hospitals starting with how the 25,000 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals will be able to freely use single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity.

In addition, city agencies such as hospitals are going to be required to:

• Post the new single-sex facility policy in conspicuous locations so employees and members of the public can see within three months.
• Managers have to train managers on the policy within one year and frontline staff within two years;
• All Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) plans are to be updated to incorporate training requirements within three months, and
• Steps Taken are to be stated and must conform with today’s Executive Order to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) pursuant to EEO reporting documents.

Other changes in hospitals include how gender identity protections under the law include how individuals aren’t to be denied health care benefits that cover gender-affirming care, failing to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals undergoing gender transition, enforcing dress codes, uniforms, and grooming standards that impose different requirements based on gender or sex. These changes have been occurring for over two months already!

While trans-inclusive bathroom policies have caused an increase in opposition in municipalities nationwide, they have brought much more positive outcomes into NYC facilities already. These measures are ensuring safe and supportive environments for gender non-conforming and transgender individuals that work and are patients in these hospitals. Other violations of gender identity protections under the law include how individuals aren’t to be denied health care benefits that cover gender-affirming care, failing to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals undergoing gender transition, enforcing dress codes, uniforms, and grooming standards that impose different requirements based on gender or sex. These changes have been occurring for over two months already!

How Will GDS Help Your Facility Through Changes Triggered By Restroom Code?

GDS Architectural Signage Solutions has proudly already begun doing walk-through’s, taking inquiries, and creating code-compliant signs and wayfinding systems ensuring that facilities are complying with the restroom code and that patients, visitors, and workers in hospitals are safe in the public environment. If you haven’t already started the process, you can risk unexpected inspection visits with heavy fines and penalties. Give our team a call at (888) 437- 9993 or send us an email at info@gdssigns.com. One of our friendly employees will be happy to assist you and your facility throughout the process!