ADA Legal News

“Supreme Court Punts on ADA, Special Ed”

The Supreme Court declined to review a case brought against Coca-Cola by a man who is blind. The man argued that the company’s vending machines ought to be considered “places of public accommodation” and therefore subject to accessibility requirements under Title III of the ADA.

The lower court had ruled that the machines themselves are not directly subject to Title III, although the places where such machines are located (e.g., a bus station or a hospital which is clearly a place of public accommodation) may well have some responsibility to ensure the availability of goods and services.

Third Circuit Court of Appeals: Pennsylvania District Court Must Reconsider Plaintiffs Claim that Movie Theater Should Provide Tactile Interpreter

These articles report on a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which ordered the lower court to reconsider its judgment in favor of the defendant, Cinemark USA, Inc., in a case brought by an individual under Title III of the ADA. The individual, who is blind and deaf, had asked a Cinemark movie theater to provide him with the services of American Sign Language (ASL) tactile interpreters so he could attend a movie showing, which the theater refused to do.

These articles report on the court’s decision:

Justice Department Settles with Montgomery County, Maryland, After School Program to Ensure Compliance with the ADA

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached an agreement with Bar-T Year Round Programs for Kids in Montgomery County, Maryland, to remedy alleged violations of the ADA. Bar-T is the largest provider of before- and after-school programs in Montgomery County, operating at approximately 30 Montgomery County public school locations.    

DOJ investigated a complaint that Bar-T discriminated against a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) when it expelled him on the basis of behaviors associated with ASD, without properly considering whether reasonable modifications could have been implemented to accommodate the student. 

The settlement agreement requires Bar-T to adopt a number of procedures to ensure reasonable modification requests are appropriately considered. Bar-T will also pay $13,500 in compensatory damages to the student and his parents.

“Disability, Sex Bias Claims Lead Rush of EEOC Year-End Lawsuits”

This article reports on the numbers and types of lawsuits filed against employers by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the recent fiscal year, which ended in September. Filings indicate a focus on sex-based pay discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and disability discrimination.