Americans with Disabilities Act

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Americans with Disabilities Act

Legislation in the United States, passed in 1990, that extended civil rights laws to persons who are physically disabled. Among other provisions, it requires facilities to accommodate the disabled insofar as it is possible. Businesses must comply with the Act when they build or expand their buildings. For example, most new commercial buildings with steps are required to provide access for persons who use wheelchairs.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

A federal law that grants civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

• Real estate: The Act is most relevant in its provisions regarding public accommodation. Responsibility for compliance is placed on both landlords and tenants, as well as other property owners. Many commercial leases allocate the burden of ADA compliance so that the tenant must pay for any alterations or improvements necessary to bring a property into compliance.

• Places of public accommodation: These include a wide range of entities, such as restau- rants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers. Private clubs and religious organizations are exempt.

• Accessibility for existing properties: Steps must be taken to remove barriers, if it can be done easily and without much expense. The evaluation of the expense depends on the size and financial strength of the entity.

• Accessibility requirements when a property undergoes alteration or renovation: For example, if during renovations a doorway is being relocated, the new doorway must be wide enough to meet the new construction standard for accessibility. When alterations are made to a primary function area, such as the lobby of a bank or the dining area of a cafeteria, an accessible path of travel to the altered area must also be provided. The bathrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving that area must also be made accessible. These additional accessibility alterations are only required to the extent that the added accessibility costs do not exceed 20 percent of the cost of the original alteration.

• Accessibility in new construction: The ADA requires that all new construction of places of public accommodation, as well as of “commercial facilities” such as office buildings, be accessible. Elevators are generally not required in facilities under three stories or with fewer than 3,000 square feet per floor, unless the building is a shopping center or mall; the professional office of a health care provider; a terminal, depot, or other public transit station; or an airport passenger terminal.

• Litigation: Private individuals may bring lawsuits to obtain injunctive relief to force compliance with the ADA and recover their attorneys' fees for the litigation, but may not obtain money damages. Citizens may also file complaints with the United States attorney general, who is authorized to bring lawsuits in cases of general public importance or where a pattern of discrimination is alleged. The suit can ask for money damages and civil penalties.

• The official ADA Web site is

References in periodicals archive ?
This settlement is designed to help ensure that all applicants and employees are protected from disability discrimination.
It led to improvements to the Disability Discrimination Act - for example, it ended the exemption for small businesses, and it closed the loophole that allowed an employer to justify direct discrimination because of disability.
She was dismissed by a marketing and design agency, Promotion Line, and brought a claim of disability discrimination against the.
Disability discrimination legislation does not require a judge to focus on the cause of the impairment.
To get protection from laws against disability discrimination, an employee with a serious medical condition must be considered a disabled person.
Unlike other illegal employment practices that are clear to the eye and will not be tolerated, such as sexual harassment, disability discrimination is a murky affair.
The increase is believed to be due to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which was amended to cover police officers in 2004.
But legal action taken under the Disability Discrimination Act rocketed from four in 2004 to 28 last year - costing the nine forces more than pounds 415,000.
THE University of Glamorgan's Centre for Research on Workplace Behaviours (CRWB) is joining forces with Cardiff law firm Darwin Gray to deliver a one-day conference to employers and employees on workplace bullying and disability discrimination.
Does the employer violate the federal disability discrimination law when it refuses to promote him?
It carries explanations and analysis of both ADAA and GINA, text of the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, GINA, Executive Order 13145, EEOC policy guidance on Executive Order 13145, and relevant committee reports as well as a state law chart of all states with disability discrimination and genetic discrimination laws and their major components.
She brought a case under the Disability Discrimination Act and the bar owners admitted liability for the incident in July 2006.

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