The Restroom Access Act – Ally’s Law

Laura Cox, LPC
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
09/21/15  1:49 PM PST
Restroom Access Act

Restroom Access Act – Ally’s Law

The Restroom Access Act, also known as Ally’s Law is  passed in 14 states. This law requires businesses to allow people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, ostomies, and other medical conditions to use “employee only” restrooms, as long as there are 3 or more employees working at that time. Some states also have exceptions, depending on how large the facility is.

The law was drawn up in Illinois by a 14-year-old named Ally Bain who was denied access to a bathroom by a manager and ended up having an accident in a clothing store. With the help of Illinois Representative Kathy Ryg, Ally wrote legislation and eventually had the bill passed in Illinois. Other states have followed, with the current total at thirteen:

States that have passed The Restroom Access Act

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington

If a store denies access to the restroom it is considered a petty offense and and the store will be fined.

If you live in one of the states that has passed The Restroom Access Act, consider printing out our “Urgent, Please Help!” card and carrying it with you! There are other courtesy cards available from The Great Bowel Movement and The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.  This will enable you to have something to explain to the employees of the business as to why you need access to the restroom!

You can find more information about the specifics of the law in different states from Healthline.

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Recent OstomyLife


  1. My wife suffers from autoimmune disorders, gyno disorders, and has been recently diagnosed after many years of being referred from provider to provider for severe pain, consistent [months] irregular periods. She has finally been diagnosed with severe IC among other issues. She can’t work, has been treated like a lost case/anomaly. She spends the majority of the day in a bathroom and still suffers with urges to go right after relieving, or is bed . I am sharing our story in hopes that we can get some resources in helping her. I thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Alexander. Thank you for your comment – we’re sorry to hear that your wife is experiencing these issues. We hope that our community members will reply with helpful resources, and in the meantime we would recommend checking out our Incontinence Community where we discuss bladder issues and more. Best of luck. -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

    2. Hi Alexander, I am so sorry to hear about your wife’s illness. I too have UC and it can be a very dibilitating illness. I would suggest, if you haven’t already, to go to a GI specialist and talk to him/her about treatment options. If your wife is not on medication, she needs to be. Please see a physician as soon as possible. We’re happy to help with any lifestyle questions you have!

  2. My journey started 10 years ago with bladder infection after another. I started seeing a urogyn and I still see him monthly even though I have had to have my bladder removed and have an illostomy conduit. I have had it Dec will be 3 years. I’m still have ongoing infections issues have been dismissed as a patient from the surgeon who performed the diversion but he was just a waste of my copay and time anyway bc I have to drive 21/2 hours to see the infectious disease dr and the urogyn that I truly have 100% trust and faith in bc he is the one that keeps on top of everything. How many Dr give their private cell number to a patient and tell you to use it when you have an issue. He knows that I don’t abuse my meds or my having his number but I have had to when the office was closed and I had blood pouring into my overnight bag and busting the seal on my stoma bag. Ended up in the hospital for 14 days due to echoli and staph infection in my kidneys and diversion. But he blames himself for the problems I have now and I remind him that he didn’t do the surgery he is always going above and beyond the call of duty and that it’s not in his hands but Gods and he is a good person and a true man of God. He drives an older 90’s model corolla and isn’t a in it for the money dr. He has written off thousands of dollars in my medical bills to him for the surgeries I had to have and my inpatient visits when I had to be hospitalized. Get your wife into a good urogyn and I will pray that you can find her one like mine. Btw when I had gotten really bad sick I moved temporarily to my moms and it was a 16 hour round trip but my mom would break it up into a 2 day trip bc it hurt so bad to ride that long but just wanted to give another example of the dr that he is and how amazing he has been and continues to be with me. I’m actually going into the hospital tomorrow due to infection that I can’t get rid off and begged for him to not admit me when I saw him the 3rd of this month bc I had to be hospitalized for 4 days the previous month bc of infection dehydrated and potassium and magnesium have dropped out and red and white cells were extremely elevated. God Bless and praying for you and your wife

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