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When You Gotta Go...

Anyone who has ever been denied access to an "employees only" restroom during an emergency now has less to worry about.

The Senate commerce committee passed the Restroom Access Act on Tuesday, to the relief of about 35,000 Minnesotans with bowel and bladder control problems.

The act would require stores to let medically needy people use their restrooms, even if they are for employees only.

Some people do not see the need for a law allowing access to restrooms. They say the law is just extra burden on store owners and isn't required because of simple human decency.

"It's hard to understand how somebody could deny someone bathroom access," said Mike Hickey, Minnesota director for the National Federation of Independent Business. "It would be nice to know what's the actual need here."

The Senate committee apparently was unconvinced by such agruments.

Employees who refuse to let such patrons use their facilities could be charged with a petty misdemeanor and a $100 fine.