Federal employees are all too aware of the importance of pay parity. But Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., has set his sights on ending a different inequality: Potty parity.
Towns on March 17 introduced the Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act — or as he called it, the Potty Parity Act — which seeks to ensure men and women have equal access to toilets in federal buildings. Towns’ bill, HR 4869, would require any newly constructed, purchased or renovated federal building to have at least a one-to-one ratio of toilets in women’s and men’s restrooms. It would allow buildings to have more women’s toilets than men’s toilets.
The bill counts urinals as toilets too, so a building can’t get away with installing a token toilet bowl in each gender’s restroom and then adding a slew of urinals for the guys.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus TownsÂ said in a letter yesterday that the health care bill now before Congress would require “some administrative and a smallÂ number of benefits-related adjustments” to some plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Those changes would be necessary to make sure all FEHBP plans meet the government’s standards of a “qualified health benefits plan,” Towns said in his letter to Ranking Republican Darrell Issa.
The health care bill, HR 3200, would require all citizens to have a minimum level of insurance coverage through a qualified health benefits plan or other form of coverage.Â Issa asked Towns on July 17 whether federal employees and their dependents enrolled under FEHBP would be in compliance with that requirement.
Towns did not say in his letter what kind of benefit adjustments would need to be made to which plans. Federal Times has put in a call to the committee staff to find out more on this.
Towns said any changes would not need to be made until 2018, and said FEHBP would not need a majorÂ overhaul.
Issa had asked Towns to hold a hearing on how the health care bill will affect federal employees, but Towns does not plan to do so.