Chances are if nature calls while you're out perusing Florida's business establishments, a public restroom will be nearby. This is because of Florida's bathroom requirements for most businesses selling food or providing lodging to the public. Along with access to a restroom, Florida law outlines location and construction restrictions for public restrooms.
Types of Businesses
At least one bathroom must be made accessible to the public for businesses serving food to the public in Florida. Qualifying businesses include those that do not offer seating, such as carry-out-only establishments. Mobile food dispensing vehicles are exempt from the bathroom requirement. Public lodging establishments, such as apartments and other housing units rented to the public, must also have at least one bathroom accessible to the public.
Customers and employees must be able to access the bathroom without crossing through food preparation, storage or ware washing areas. Transient public lodging establishments must provide a public restroom for every 15 guests on a given floor if private or connecting bathrooms between rooms are not available. Businesses must also comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, reflected in Chapter 11: Florida Accessibility Code for Building Construction of Florida's building code. ADA regulations state there must be a cleared path to the restroom, at least 36 inches wide to allow a person in a wheelchair to pass.
Public bathrooms must be completely closed and have tight-fitting doors that close properly to ensure privacy. For bathrooms outside of a restaurant or at public lodging businesses, entrances and exits must be designed to promote occupants' privacy.
A public bathroom's fixtures must be designed to facilitate cleaning. Businesses are also required to stock soap and clean towels or other approved hand-drying equipment for customer and employee use.
Myriam Beltran has been writing professionally since 2004. She started her real-world training as an intern at "El Reportero" in San Francisco, then became a reporter at "The River News-Herald." She then migrated to the Bay Area News Group copy desk and now resides in Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and sociology from the University of California-Berkeley.