Virginia Physical Privacy Act (HB 1612)
This law was last updated on Apr 1, 2017
HB 1612 would prohibit transgender individuals from using public restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity. Additionally, the bill would force schools to out LGBTQ children, specifically transgender children, to their parents.
Facilities at Government Buildings
The bill would require any government entity that owns, leases, or otherwise controls a government building to ensure that all restrooms and changing facilities located in such building provide physical privacy from members of the opposite sex.
Government buildings would need to designate any restroom or changing facility designed to be used concurrently by more than one individual to be designated for use only by members of one sex. In any other setting where an individual may be in a state of undress in the presence of others, the government entity would need to provide a separate, private area designated for use only by members of one sex.
The bill would not prohibit a government entity from providing an accommodation, including the use of a single-occupancy restroom, changing facility, or private area, upon an individual’s request, provided that such accommodation does not include access to an area that is designated for use by members of the opposite sex while members of the opposite sex are present.
The bill would allow any person who enters a restroom that is designated for use by the individual’s sex to bring an action against the government entity that controls the building if:
- the individual encounters a member of the opposite sex in such restroom, changing facility, or private area; and
- the government entity allowed the member of the opposite sex to use or failed to take reasonable steps to prohibit the member of the opposite sex from using such restroom, changing facility, or private area.
The individual may be awarded actual damages for “physical and emotional pain and suffering.”
The bill would require the principal of a public school to notify the parents or guardians of any child that requests to be recognized or treated as the opposite sex, to use a name or pronouns inconsistent with the child’s sex, or to use a restroom or changing facility designated for the opposite sex within 24 hours of such request.