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Posts tagged Americans with Disabilities Act.

It has been a busy year thus far for public accommodations issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  In this week’s post, Mike Brunet, a member of our Hospitality, Travel and Tourism team, rounds up past issues, discusses a new public accommodations ruling that could affect your business, and speculates as to where public accommodations issues might go in the next year, informed by his attendance at the recent 2012 National ADA Symposium

  • March 15, 2012: ADA revisions become effective.

As detailed in a prior 2012 post, the first significant revisions to public accommodations regulations in almost 20 years became effective March 15, 2012.  These revisions are far-ranging, potentially requiring changes to existing and planned features in any place of public accommodation, including hospitality properties and restaurants.

  • April-May, 2012:  The battle over swimming pool accessibility heats up.

Also discussed in two posts previously this year, was a battle between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which enforces ADA regulations, and hospitality owners and trade associations over swimming pool accessibility.  DOJ interpreted the new ADA regulations to require fixed (as opposed to portable) swimming pool lifts that could not be shared between pools, while hoteliers raised safety, financial and availability reasons why the DOJ’s interpretation was incorrect.  DOJ extended the date to comply with its interpretation until January 13, 2013, and legislation has been introduced in Congress to clarify what is required to comply with swimming pool access regulations.  

This week’s post comes from Hospitality Team member Mike Brunet (Employment and Litigation), as a follow-up to his January 21, 2011 post on revisions to the public accommodations sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mike recently presented on these revisions to the Seattle Hotel Association, and, in this post, shares his extensive presentation on the ADA revisions, applicable deadlines, and what you should get done before March 15.

In a blog post here almost a year ago, I provided an overview of the first significant revisions to the ADA regulations since 1991. At that time, I focused primarily on the new regulations that became effective in March 2011, related to communications accessibility, service animals, and mobility devices. Hopefully you were able to implement changes to your operations and policies to address those regulations; if not, then this blog post should serve as a reminder to do so as soon as possible.

This week's post comes courtesy of Cairncross & Hempelmann attorney, Margaret Breen and highlights changes to the Washington State and United States definition of "service animal' as it relates to required accommodations in public places, such as hotels, motels and restaurants.


Both the Washington legislature and the U.S. Department of Justice have acted recently to specify what is and is not a service animal requiring accommodation in public places and to limit abuses of the Americans with Disabilities Act by extreme animal lovers.

In today’s post, HT&T team member Mike Brunet (Employment and Litigation) discusses soon-to-be-impactful revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), with a specific focus on how it may impact those in the hospitality industry.

Approximately six months ago, in July 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Department of Justice’s regulations governing the ADA. The revisions amend Titles II (applying to public entities) and III (applying to public accommodations and commercial facilities) of the existing regulations and -- with two important exceptions discussed below -- take effect very soon, on March 15, 2011. The remainder of this blog post discusses the basics of the revisions to the ADA that may be of interest to those in the hospitality industry.

 

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Greg Duff
Editor
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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