--> -->

ADA Claims: Your Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted on Jul 5, 2024 in Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. This includes jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. At Bloom Legal, we believe in empowering individuals to understand and assert their rights under the ADA. This comprehensive guide will help you understand ADA claims, the nature of these claims, and how to navigate the process effectively.

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The purpose of the ADA is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life.

Title I: Employment

Title I of the ADA requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. This includes recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment. Employers must also make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship.

Title II: State and Local Government

Title II covers all activities of state and local governments regardless of the government entity's size or receipt of federal funding. This includes public transportation services, such as city buses and public rail transit. Public entities must make their programs, services, and activities accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Title III: Public Accommodations

Title III requires that places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers, be accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes ensuring that new constructions and alterations are accessible and that existing facilities remove barriers where it is readily achievable to do so.

Title IV: Telecommunications

Title IV requires telephone and Internet companies to provide a nationwide system of interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services that allow individuals with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate over the telephone.

Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions

Title V includes various provisions that are not covered under the other four titles, such as prohibiting coercion and retaliation against individuals who exercise their rights under the ADA.

Common Types of ADA Claims

Understanding the common types of ADA claims can help you recognize when your rights may have been violated and what steps to take next.

Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination claims under the ADA can include:
  • Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodation: Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, unless doing so would cause undue hardship. Examples include modifying work schedules, providing assistive technology, and making physical changes to the workplace.
  • Discriminatory Hiring Practices: Employers cannot discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities during the hiring process. This includes job advertisements, applications, interviews, and hiring decisions.
  • Harassment and Hostile Work Environment: Employees with disabilities are protected from harassment and hostile work environments. This includes offensive remarks, jokes, or actions based on disability.

Public Accommodation

Claims under Title III (public accommodations) can include:
  • Inaccessible Facilities: Businesses and other public places must remove architectural barriers in existing facilities where it is readily achievable to do so. This includes adding ramps, widening doorways, and installing accessible restrooms.
  • Service Denial: Businesses cannot deny services to individuals with disabilities. For example, a restaurant cannot refuse service to a person with a service animal.
  • Failure to Provide Auxiliary Aids and Services: Businesses must provide auxiliary aids and services, such as qualified interpreters or written materials, to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities.

Government Services

Claims under Title II (state and local government) can include:
  • Inaccessible Programs and Services: State and local governments must ensure that their programs and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes public transportation, education, and voting.
  • Discriminatory Policies and Practices: Governments cannot implement policies or practices that discriminate against individuals with disabilities. This includes ensuring accessible public meetings and events.

How to File ADA Claims

Filing an ADA claim involves several steps. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Step 1: Identify the Violation
    • The first step is to identify the specific violation of the ADA. This could involve employment discrimination, denial of public accommodation, or inaccessible government services. Document the incident in detail, including dates, times, locations, and any individuals involved.
  • Step 2: Gather Evidence
    • Gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This can include photographs, medical records, witness statements, and any correspondence related to the incident. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
  • Step 3: File a Complaint with the Appropriate Agency
    • Depending on the nature of the violation, you may need to file a complaint with different agencies:
      • Employment Discrimination: File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can do this online, by mail, or in person at an EEOC office. The EEOC will investigate your claim and may attempt to mediate a resolution between you and your employer.
      • Public Accommodation or Government Services: File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ enforces Titles II and III of the ADA. You can file a complaint online, by mail, or by fax.
  • Step 4: Consider Legal Action
    • If your complaint is not resolved through administrative processes, you may need to consider filing a lawsuit. Consult with an attorney who specializes in ADA claims to discuss your legal options. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and advocate for your rights.

Remedies for ADA Violations

If your ADA claim is successful, there are several remedies available:

Injunctive Relief

Injunctive relief requires the offending party to take specific actions to correct the violation. This can include making physical changes to a facility, implementing new policies, or providing reasonable accommodations.

Monetary Damages

In employment discrimination cases, you may be entitled to back pay, front pay, and compensatory damages for emotional distress. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.

Attorney’s Fees

If you prevail in your ADA claim, you may be entitled to recover attorney’s fees and court costs.

Bloom Legal Can Help With Your ADA Claims

Understanding your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act is crucial for ensuring you are not subjected to discrimination. At Bloom Legal, we are committed to helping individuals with disabilities navigate the complexities of ADA claims and advocate for their rights. If you believe your rights under the ADA have been violated, contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you seek the justice you deserve.

  Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. For personal legal guidance, please consult a qualified attorney.

You Might Also Like:

(T) 504-599-9997

Downtown location
  825 Girod Street
  Suite A

New Orleans, Louisiana

    Contact Us