Do Indiana Businesses Have to Let You Use Their Bathroom if You Ask?
When you got to go, you got to go. But, just because you "got to go," are businesses required by law in Indiana to let you go in their restroom?
We've all been there. We're out driving around, running errands, or we're on a long road trip, and that bladder-busting, 32-ounce soft drink you grabbed at the convenience store for $1.50 that sounded like a great idea at the time because you were soooooooo thirsty at the time has run through your digestive system and is ready to vacate the premises. Your internal clock starts ticking and you constrict every muscle in your body knowing that if you relax for even a split-second, the dam is going to break whether you're in a bathroom or not. Can you just walk into any business and ask to use their restroom? You can. Can they refuse to let you? Let's take a look at what state law says.
Public Restroom Law in Indiana
Like many states, according to Legal Beagle, Indiana uses the guidelines laid out in the Uniform Plumbing Code as the basis for its public restroom code. The code sets the standard for the number of restrooms a business should have based on its size, occupancy, and number of employees. If a business is large enough, it must provide separate restrooms for the public and its employees. However, if the number of occupants is less the 100, a single, unisex restroom, or a set of restrooms (separate rooms for men and women) can be used by both.
As for whether or not the business must let you use them if you ask, the answer is, "yes." In addition to laying out the guidelines for where restrooms can and can't be constructed within a building, Indiana Building Code 2902.3.1 states:
The public shall have access to the required toilet facilities at all times that the building is occupied.
Chances are if you find yourself in a situation where you need to use the restroom, you'll likely look for a convenience store, restaurant, or store of some kind. But, it's good to know that if all you can find is a mechanic's shop or insurance agent's office, by law, they have to let you use their restroom if you ask.
[Sources: Legal Beagle / Indiana Building Code / Uniform Plumbing Code]