Monthly Archives: August 2012

Is Employee Training Your Weakest Link?

Recently I read a national news story about a disabled veteran who claimed that an employee of a hotel denied and mocked his request for assistance in getting his wheelchair down a flight of stairs. Although I lay no claim to knowing the true facts of the incident, or the hotel’s ADA procedures, the story did get me thinking about the vital role employees play in ensuring compliance with a business’s public accommodations obligations. Simply put, your employees can be either your greatest strength in ensuring compliance and avoiding lawsuits, or your Achilles heel. Most businesses have detailed policies prohibiting disability …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Is Your ATM Machine A Lawsuit Waiting To Happen?

The 2010 Amendments to the ADA (and accompanying changes to the ADA’s design guidelines) require owners and operators of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to modify new and existing ATMs to improve access for the disabled. These mandated changes, which required compliance by March 15, 2012, have resulted in a rash of lawsuits across the country, including significant class action lawsuits in Texas and Pennsylvania. These lawsuits have largely targeted smaller financial institutions, including community banks and credit unions. ATM Accessibility Requirements Although the ADA has required ATMs to be “accessible” to the disabled since 1991, the 2010 Amendments provide new …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Netflix Part Deux: California Federal Court Rules that Netflix is Not a Public Accommodation

Recently I wrote about a decision from the federal district court in Massachusetts which held that the ADA applied to Netflix’s Internet-streamed movies. That decision (which is now subject to a petition for appeal) would have required the company to ensure that all of its “on demand” movies had closed captioning to accommodate customers with hearing-related disabilities. Recently, another federal court—this time in California—ruled in favor of Netflix dismissing a claim that the company violated the ADA by failing to provide closed captioning for every movie in its “streaming video library.” Unlike the District of Massachusetts, which held that the ADA’s …

[ CONTINUE READING ]

Federal Appeals Court Reinstates ADA Lawsuit Against Disney Over Segway Use

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit against Walt Disney World Company that alleges the company violated the ADA by refusing to allow a theme park patron to use a “Segway.” The Plaintiff, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, claims that Disney unfairly discriminated against her when the company denied her request to use her Segway at Disneyland. The park’s policies allow patrons to use wheelchairs and motorized scooters, but prohibit two wheeled vehicles, which would include Segways. The California district court dismissed the Plaintiff’s claim finding that the use of a Segway was not a necessary accommodation …

[ CONTINUE READING ]