House GOP Votes to Gut the American With Disabilities Act

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DejaMoo
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House GOP Votes to Gut the American With Disabilities Act

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Post by DejaMoo » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:31 pm

The vote passed this morning.

H.R.620 - ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017
(Sec. 3) The bill prohibits civil actions based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access into an existing public accommodation unless: (1) the aggrieved person has provided to the owners or operators a written notice specific enough to identify the barrier, and (2) the owners or operators fail to provide the person with a written description outlining improvements that will be made to improve the barrier or they fail to remove the barrier or make substantial progress after providing such a description. The aggrieved person's notice must specify: (1) the address of the property, (2) the specific ADA sections alleged to have been violated, (3) whether a request for assistance in removing an architectural barrier was made, and (4) whether the barrier was permanent or temporary.
The reality is, over 90% of ADA lawsuits fail anyway, mainly because of the weasel word "reasonable". As long as the employer or owner can show they've made a reasonable attempt to remedy or provided a reasonable accomodation, they're off the hook. This is why, decades after the ADA was passed, thousands of public accommodations across the US are still not handicapped-accessible. They've had decades to address their issues, and they haven't bothered, and they've nearly all gotten away with it. So, this bill really only codifies what the situation has been all along.



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Lani
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Re: House GOP Votes to Gut the American With Disabilities Act

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Post by Lani » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:28 pm

I knew this was coming when 1) trump was elected, and 2) 60 Minutes quickly followed with a show about how meanie poopyhead lawyers were fleecing some small businesses because they weren't ADA compliant. Poor babies had no way to know that accessible parking and curb cuts were required after 27 FRIGGING YEARS since the bill passed and FRIGGING FREE ASSISTANCE with how to comply.

The gutting of Title III was heavily lobbied by retail mall and hotel organizations, not the small businesses that supposedly are being harmed. Here's how the changes work in real life:
While there is a small division in the Department of Justice (DOJ) doing some oversight, the ADA generally depends on private citizens bringing complaints through damages-free lawsuits (though with legal fees attached) in order to command technical compliance in commercial spaces. Think about how this differs from most other regulatory situations. You aren't required to check whether the local restaurant complies with health codes, labor standards, or other safety features; the government does that for you. When it comes to disability, though, most enforcement starts with a personal lawsuit.
The ability to seek compliance is drastically reduced, while shifting even more burdens on to the people with disabilities.
Right now, businesses that are found to be non-compliant can be held immediately accountable. That seems fair, given that the ADA has been law for 28 years. Under the new bill, a person who encounters an accessibility obstacle would need to give a written, technical notification to the business (which often will require a lawyer to do correctly), wait 60 days for that notification to be acknowledged, and then wait 120 more days for "substantial progress" to be made in resolving the accessibility issue. If, after 180 days, there hasn't been substantial progress (it's not clear quite how that standard would be regulated), the disabled person who first encountered the accessibility obstacle can then sue. They still won't be able to collect damages.
https://psmag.com/social-justice/congre ... of-the-ada

Here's how the congresscreatures voted: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/ ... medium=rss


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Tiredretiredlawyer
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Re: House GOP Votes to Gut the American With Disabilities Act

#3

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:36 pm

I have already contacted my "representative" about his vote. Of course, he is a Republican and voted for this. :madguy:


"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, feminist and founder with others of NAACP.

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