Accessibility of Public Accommodations under the ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibit anyone who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals with disabilities.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12182; Minn. Stat. § 363A.11.  This means that a place of public accommodation generally may not deny a disabled individual the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations that it offers.  In addition, places of public accommodation are required to remove architectural barriers and communication barriers that are structural in nature from existing facilities when it is “readily achievable” to do so.

What is a “place of public accommodation”?  Under the ADA and the MHRA, the following types of establishments typically qualify as places of public accommodation:

  • Most inns, hotels, motels, and other places of lodging;
  • Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that serve food or drinks;
  • Movie theaters, concert halls, stadiums, or other entertainment venues;
  • Shopping centers and retail stores;
  • Service establishments (e.g., banks, gas stations, professional offices, and hospitals);
  • Schools and educational institutions; and
  • Parks, gymnasiums, and other recreational establishments.

See 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7); Minn. Stat. § 363A.03, Subd. 34.

What resources are available to help businesses comply with the ADA’s accessibility requirements?  The U.S. Department of Justice provides resources on how to comply with the ADA and make places of publication accommodation accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the following:

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on September 21, 2011, in Accommodations and Accessibility and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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