Understanding the ADA

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I have big news to share. I have been frustrated with my blog/website set up for some time. On Friday, I will be moving all of that into one site onto the lexblog platform. So, starting at around five Eastern time on Friday and perhaps continuing through the weekend accessing my blog may be spotty. Everything that has been on the blog for the last nine years will carry over to the new site. Also, everything will be redirected to the new site. I think everyone will be really impressed by the new site. No content from the last eight years will…
Before getting started on the blog entry of the day, yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the ADA. Happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   One of the things that comes up is why is the ADA such a good idea if hiring people with disabilities has remained static over the years. My response to that question is twofold. First, the ADA is more than just employment. It also includes accessing nonfederal governmental entities (title II) and accessing places of public accommodations (title III). It has another title dealing with telecommunications (title IV). Finally, it protects against retaliation and interference (title V). With respect…
Before starting our blog entry, two lions of the civil rights movement passed away on the same day recently. C.T. Vivian and John Lewis. John Lewis happened to be the person who represented me in the U.S. Congress. Georgia Democrats have selected the Georgia state Democratic Party chair, GA State Sen., Nikema Williams, as his replacement. A special election has to be held to finish out the term. There is talk that the special election will be held in November. Georgia has a jungle primary system, which means that if no one gets 50% +1 than a runoff would have…
Today’s blog entry is a two-for-one dealing with the fact that definitional terms still matter even after the amendments to the ADA. In the first case, Colton v. Fehrer Auto, North America, LLC, we revisit the question of whether being short is a disability without more. In the second case, Darby v. Childvine, Inc., we look at the question of whether a person with BRCA1 gene who undergo a preventive surgery to prevent breast cancer is a person with a disability. As usual, the blog is divided into categories and they are: Colton facts; Colton reasoning physical or…
  Today’s blog entry comes from the Fourth Appellate District of the State of California. It is an Internet accessibility case. The difference with this case is that there is a focus on the California’s Civil Rights Act, what they call the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The facts are pretty straightforward. The plaintiff is permanently blind and requires screen reading software to vocalize visual information on the computer screen that allows him to read website content and access the Internet. Of course, the credit union’s site was not accessible. So, he sues under the Unruh Civil Rights Act alleging both…
Today’s blog entry deals with the question of whether title I of the ADA applies to foreign flagged cruise ships. We know that under this case, Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Lines, title III of the ADA applies to foreign flagged cruise ships under some circumstances. However, this is a title I case. It’s a really interesting question. So, I thought it would be worth exploring here. The decision is from the Southern District of Florida decided on June 5, 2020. The case is Schultz v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. It is actually a seventy-seven page decision, but we will…
This week the Supreme Court came down with the decisions in the LGBT cases, which I previously discussed here. The decision will have an absolute huge impact on people with disabilities in both positive and possibly negative ways. Before moving onto the decision, I do want to say that my wife and I and my daughter for the last seven years have been members of Congregation Bet Haverim, which was originally founded as the home for the LGBT community in Decatur, Georgia some 25 years ago. My daughter and I have also taught at the religious school there for…
I have talked about the EEOC and Covid-19 guidelines that have been coming out from time to time before here, here, and here. On June 11, the EEOC came out with some more questions. Assuredly, my fellow employment law bloggers-such as Robin Shea, Eric Meyer, and Jon Hyman will probably have something to say on the subject, and I know Eric already has-, but I thought I would add my own views here. Since the EEOC lets you know by date when the question and the answer has been posted, we know just what are the latest…
I thought I would do a different kind of blog entry this week. Last week, I attended a zoominar (should I trademark “zoominar?”:-), on issues facing persons with disabilities in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was put on by Steve Gordon an Assistant Attorney General in the Eastern District of Virginia. I was very impressed how clued in he was to the disability community. He had lots of different elements of the disability community speaking. The blog entry today is divided into the following categories: issues noted on call; statistics; and thoughts/takeaways. I’m figuring that the reader is probably…
Before moving on to today’s blog entry, I want to point out an excellent blog entry from my friend, colleague, and fellow blogger, Robin Shea. Last week, she blogged on the situation of what can happen when you have an incomprehensible drug policy that nobody understands that is not applied effectively. In short, it creates a big mess. Her blog entry is excellent and I don’t think I can add much to it, which is the reason I decided not to blog on it. The only thing I will say about the blog entry is to be sure that when…
One may wonder how I go about deciding what cases to blog on from week to week. Well, I look in a variety of places: fellow legal bloggers; a Google alert set to the ADA; LinkedIn, Lexblog, and law 360. I subscribe to Law 360 and it is worth every penny. I am able to get a variety of cases and documents without having to use the convoluted pacer system. Many of the documents are free because I am a paid subscriber. Very importantly, Law 360 has an army of legal journalists looking for legal cases in their area. Law…
Before getting started on the blog entry of the day, I did a webinar the other day for the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts on Internet accessibility and on effective communications. We also talked about other matters as well. It was the first time I did a webinar using the zoom platform. I found it worked well so long as I had the ability to dial in and use my Bluetooth so the sound could go directly to my hearing aids. One of the questions that came up was this: employer of less than 15 employees; in a state with…
One thing I have noticed with the pandemic is that legal bloggers have shifted what issues they are talking about to anything related to Covid-19. That said, there are other issues besides Covid-19 going on. For example, service animals and emotional support animals in housing. I am aware of reports from those in university towns where off campus complexes catering to students are faced with a significant number of tenants in the complex claiming their animal is an emotional support animal. What is such a landlord to do? As already mentioned here, the latest circular from the Department of…
Today’s blog entry is a twofer. In the first part of the blog entry, we are going to update a case that we previously blogged on here. In the second part of the blog entry, we are going to explore the question of whether general commercial liability insurance policies cover failure to accommodate claims outside of the employment context. As usual, the blog entry is divided into categories and they are: Access Living v. Uber Technologies update; Access Living thoughts/takeaways; Brooklyn Center for Psychotherapy introduction; Second Circuit’s reasoning/insurance coverage; Second Circuit’s reasoning/certification; and thoughts/takeaways on the Second Circuit decision.…
  It is hard to write on anything that doesn’t have something to do with Covid-19. However, ADA jurisprudence continues and a lot of it happens outside of Covid-19. That said, expect a tremendous amount of issues stemming from Covid-19. We will certainly be following those issues closely. Today, we will be talking about a case, Dominguez v. Banana Republic, LLC, out of the Southern District of New York where Judge Woods dismisses plaintiff’s claims that not offering braille gift cards violates title III of the ADA. As usual, the blog entry is divided into categories and they are: facts;…
As everyone knows, I rarely post to blog entries in a week. However, there are exceptions. The EEOC has updated their guidance on the pandemic twice since we last wrote, including yesterday. So, I thought it would be a good time to go over the paragraphs of the EEOC guidance that we have yet to cover. The way this blog entry will proceed is that I am listing the paragraphs verbatim we have yet to discuss. Underneath each of the EEOC paragraphs, I have my thoughts. At the very end, I have additional thoughts as well.   A.6.   May an…