New Law on TV Closed Captioning in Effect

Date: July 31, 2021

Businesses that have sets in public areas must comply in most circumstances

A new law requiring businesses with TV sets in public areas to have closed captioning took effect July 25 and compliance is required by October 23.

According to the Washington State Human Rights Commission, which will be responsible for enforcing the law, “Televisions that are in public areas within places of public accommodation must have closed captioning in most circumstances. Places that might have such televisions in public areas include, but are not limited to: bars; restaurants; salons and barber shops; hotel lobbies; transportation centers such as train stations or airports; visitor areas in hospitals, medical offices, and medical centers; and waiting rooms in vehicle maintenance businesses. Regardless of the type of business, if there is a television that members of the public can watch, that television is included in this new law.”

More information is available in this five-page document put out by the commission. The commission has also produced this 10-slide PowerPoint presentation for training employees.



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