Thursday, March 30, 2017

BOMA International Advocacy Update: BOMA Leads the ADA Reform Effort & New OSHA Rules In Effect

BOMA International Supports ADA Legislation Introduced in House

Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas) recently introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would amend the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to curb the practice of 'drive-by' lawsuits—frivolous lawsuits filed by unscrupulous attorneys against building owners citing ADA noncompliance issues. Much of the time, these lawsuits do not seek to remedy the alleged ADA infraction or benefit the needs of the disabled community; the plaintiff is simply looking for a quick settlement.

H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act, provides a notice and cure provision that allows building owners 120 days to correct identified ADA violations before the commencement of litigation. A balanced, bi-partisan coalition comprised of Representatives Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Ami Bera (D-Calif.) joined onto the bill as lead co-sponsors. To thank them for their efforts on behalf of commercial real estate, BOMA International President Henry Chamberlain sent this letter of support to the sponsoring offices.

BOMA International's advocacy team has been working hard on this matter for years, making lawmakers aware of the issue and securing bipartisan support for this legislation. If you have been negatively affected by a "drive-by" lawsuit, please contact BOMA International's Manager of Advocacy, Dylan Isenberg, at Your story may help BOMA's efforts on Capitol Hill.

New OSHA Rules Now in Effect

Under new regulations by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that went into effect January 17, building owners now are responsible for having roof anchors inspected and certified prior to allowing vendors to use them for window cleaning or fa├žade inspections. Certifications must be completed by November 17.

The Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards include a number of other new requirements; building owners and managers should read OSHA’s Fact Sheet to understand how the rules will impact their facilities. BOMA International’s codes team also has created a useful guide to understanding the new rules.

If you have any questions, contact BOMA International's Director of Codes & Standards, Steve Orlowski, at

BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Committee Chair Marty Smith Participates in City Hall Advocacy Day

BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee Chair, Marty Smith, represented BOMA at City Hall Advocacy Day, held recently. Over 80 attendees from 23 businesses and organizations - including BOMA San Francisco - met with our elected representatives and agency staff on key issues to the business community.

Marty led a panel on Transportation and left the day-long event with a better understanding of the City and County of San Francisco's political and administrative headquarters. His experience will guide him as he leads BOMA's policy initiatives in 2017.

BOMA thanks the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for organizing this event - we look forward
to attending the next one!

The 2017 San Francisco Business Agenda

Click to Enlarge
Participating Organizations

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BOMA thanks the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for organizing this event - we look forward
to attending the next one!

Friday, March 3, 2017

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin Speaks to BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Committee Members

BOMA's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) recently welcomed back Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

The SFMTA is the City’s mobility manager and operates the entire surface transportation network that encompasses pedestrians, bicycling, transit, traffic and parking and regulates the taxi industry.  As such, Mr. Reiskin provided a great deal of information in a short time frame.  Here are the highlights from his presentation:

  • Department Update
    • Funding
      • SFMTA, like many transportation agencies in the Bay Area and California incorporate state level funding into their budgets. There is a need for business organizations, like BOMA, to support state funding of transportation agencies and their projects.
    • Muni 
      • Approval rating is trending up (good!) to 70%
    • Projects in San Francisco
      • 220 transit projects - $3.5 billion - currently in San Francisco.
  • Agency Objectives
    • FY 2013-2018 Strategic Plan
      • Under the FY 2013-2018 SFMTA Strategic Plan, the SFMTA committed to a mode share goal of 50 percent auto and 50 percent non-auto (transit, bicycling, walking and taxi) for all trips by 2018. Meeting this mode shift goal will put the SFMTA and the city as a whole on track to meet the transportation needs of future residents, employees and visitors.
      • By 2035, San Francisco is projected to have an approximate 15 percent growth in population and a 25 percent growth in employment. This growth requires us to re-think our resources and tools to meet the city’s quality of life objectives. SFMTA can leverage its multi modality to facilitate big picture planning, design, construction, operations and overall funding management to implement complete streets projects that make non-auto modes more attractive to all residents, workers and visitors to San Francisco.
    • Four Goals
      • Create a safer transportation experience for everyone.
      • Make transit, walking, bicycling, taxi, ridesharing and carsharing the preferred means of travel.
      • Improve the environment and quality of life in San Francisco.
      • Create a workplace that delivers outstanding service.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

UPDATE: All-Gender/Single User Toilet Facilities - March 2017 Deadline

UPDATE - February 28, 2017

You may already be aware of the San Francisco law requiring updated signage in single use toilet facilities. There is also a statewide signage requirement, AB 1732, that passed last year and we've received a few questions about it. 

BOMA California, of which BOMA San Francisco members participate, was neutral on AB 1732. BOMA San Francisco members worked on a similar, if not exact, ordinance in San Francisco that mandated signage updates. Our members locally didn’t see it as too costly of a issue - more of an amenity for those restrooms that meet the signage requirements as detailed in the local law (see below).

Signs cost around $20 on average but it depends where you purchase them.

A few key things from the state law:
  • The state law affects bathrooms that are single occupancy only. 
  • From the law: This bill would, commencing March 1, 2017, require all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency to be identified as all-gender toilet facilities, as specified. The bill would authorize inspectors, building officials, or other local officials responsible for code enforcement to inspect for compliance with these provisions during any inspection.
    • In San Francisco, the San Francisco Department of Inspection would most likely check for compliance during routine building inspections.
Bottom line: If any of your building’s bathrooms meet the requirements in the law, you’ll need to update the signage. Tenants will have to do this for their restrooms as well.


UPDATE - August 31, 2016

This law passed recently and it applies to single-user toilet facilities in business establishments and places of public accommodation in San Francisco.

A few key things to know:
  • The measure requires that all single-user toilet facilities that are open to the public, and/or to the employees of the establishment, shall be identified as all-gender facilities and shall be made available to persons of any gender identity. 
  • Single-user toilet facility means a private toilet facility with a single toilet, or with a single toilet and a urinal and designed for use by no more than one occupant at a time, or for family or assisted use. 
  • Multiple-user toilet facilities may be identified as all-gender facilities, but are not required to be identified as all-gender.
  • Signage identifying single-user toilet facilities as all-gender must comply with either Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations or the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Businesses and places of public accommodation were supposed to be in compliance with this ordinance by August 20th, 2016.
  • The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection will be checking for compliance with during regular building inspections.
If you have any questions please email

Original Post - January 16, 2016

Supervisor David Campos has requested BOMA San Francisco and business community feedback regarding a proposal to expand the number of all gender (unisex) single occupancy restrooms in San Francisco. This is at trend taking place nationwide in order to increase bathroom accessibility for all. Indeed, similar ordinances have already been passed in municipalities across the United States.


This legislation would mandate that businesses and places of public accommodation (click here and scroll to #7) designate via signage single-user toilet facilities that are available to the public or employees.

Some BOMA members would be required to update their signage if they have places of public accommodation that only have single user toilet facilities.

Click here to review the legislation and email with your comments.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

San Francisco's Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation Requirement

BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Analysis Committee (GAPAC) members have reviewed and submitted suggested amendments regarding a proposal in San Francisco requiring Baby Diaper-Changing stations in bathrooms. The ordinance was introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang and, if passed, would make diaper-changing facilities available to mothers and fathers in their

We appreciate that Supervisor Tang included our recommended amendment that will protect a building owner's respective contract agreement with their tenants. BOMA members were also successful in extending the time frame for compliance from six months to twelve months if the ordinance is enacted.

The legislation has been moving through the San Francisco City Hall legislative process with unanimous support from various policy committees. It is now at the Board of Supervisors for their consideration. We expect this measure to pass unanimously there as well.

Please review the information below to ensure you know what this proposal means for BOMA San Francisco building members and your tenants. Also, for compliance, please be sure to have your legal team review the measure.

What are the requirements of this ordinance?
  • All business establishments and those entities that have public accommodations that maintain a Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation (BDCA) in a restroom available for use by women will be required to install and maintain a Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation in a restroom available for use by men OR available for use by ALL genders.
    • For example, if a women's bathroom in a tenant's space has a BDCA, a BDCA in the men's restroom would need to be installed or a BDCA would need to be made available in a restroom that can be used by any gender.
      • The requirement would also apply to BOMA members who have restrooms available to the public.
What is the definition of Public Accommodation?
  • It has the same meaning as in Title III of the American's with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Section 12181(7) and federal regulation adopted thereunder, as either are amended from time to time.
What is the definition of a BDCA?
  • With regard to this proposal, a BDCA is a safe, sanitary, and convenient baby diaper-changing station, or similar amenity. This may include, but are not limited to, work surfaces, stations, decks, and tables in women's and men's restrooms or all-gender restrooms.
What if installing a BDCA is infeasible due to spatial or structural limitations?
  • The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection can inspect and waive compliance if the Department determines that tenant or BOMA member cannot install a BDCA.
What is the time frame to comply with the ordinance? 
  • Thanks to BOMA's advocacy efforts, it is now twelve months - increased from six months - if the law is enacted.
With regard to compliance, what about a building owners lease contract with their respective tenants? 
  • BOMA members advocated for a clause to be included in the ordinance that the new law, if enacted, protects a building owner's respective contract agreement with their tenants. 
What about new business and public accommodations?
  • If they choose to install and maintain a BDCA in a restroom available for use by women, they will also be required to do so in a restroom available by men or all genders immediately upon opening to the public.
What about new buildings or substantially renovated public service establishments?

  • At least one BDCA that is open and available for use by women and one that is open and available for use by men, or a single BDCA that is open and available by all genders shall be installed and maintained.
    • However, they will need to made available at each floor level containing a toilet room available for use by the public.
    • Exceptions
      • If a San Francisco Building official determines that a BDCA cannot be installed and comply with City, State, and Federal laws regarding access to persons with disabilities.
      • If a San Francisco Building official determines that the installation is infeasible due to spatial or structural limitations.
  • What is the definition of substantially renovated?
    • It's limited to renovation of a toilet room and means that any addition, alteration, or repair project to the toilet rooms, performed under a building permit, with the cost of construction of $50,000 or more for the renovation of one or more toilet rooms.
  • Are there signage requirements for new buildings/substantially renovated public service establishments?
    • Signage at or near its entrance stating "Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation Inside" is required.
    • In a building encompassing multiple establishments and having a central directory, the location of all such accommodations will need to be indicated on the directory.
We'll keep you updated on the progress of this ordinance as it winds it's way through the final portion of the legislative process. Please email with any questions that you have and thank your fellow BOMA members for helping to advocate for the industry!