Friday, September 26, 2008

Real Score: The Rising ADA Lawsuits

Many lawyers are beginning to notice an increase in the number of discrimination lawsuits brought up against landlords by their tenants. Most of these lawsuits are filed by disabled persons who request for reasonable accommodation.

In the article, “ADA Lawsuits Filing Appear on the Rise”, posted on September 18, 2008, this recent phenomenon was reported. The article said the rise in the lawsuits came from requests made by disabled person who mostly believed they were denied access to many public places and commercial establishments.

But requests for reasonable accommodation also applies to workplaces where discrimination is more likely prevalent.

Under the ADA, a reasonable accommodation is a means of providing assistance or making changes in the structure in the job, workplace or business place to enable a disabled worker or person to move or work. An example of this are the ramps made in building for individuals who use wheelchairs.

The law specifies how a disabled person should negotiate for an accommodation. By law, it is the employee or the disabled person’s responsibility to inform an establishment and request for an accommodation.

However, the law provides that an employer or property owner may be exempted to provide accommodation if it would cause him “undue hardship”. For instance, if the accommodation would require massive improvement that would cost a large amount or an entire business profit, then an accommodation may not be feasible.

By law, an accommodation may qualify as undue hardship depending on the following factors:

• The structure of business

• the cost of the accommodation

• the size and financial resources of your business

• the effect the accommodation would have on your business.

In the end, an accommodation may work out depending on the negotiations between the employer or property owner and the disabled person. At any rate, if one is unsure on what to do to make a request for accommodation, a legal assistance may help.