All employers with 15 or more employees have at least some obligations under the ADA. Title I requires employers with the specified number of employees to provide equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Title I covers all employment practices including recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, job assignments, benefits, social activities, privileges, leave, layoff and firing. In addition, Title I requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for known disabilities of a qualified applicant or employee, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. Privately owned businesses and organizations that provide goods and services have additional obligations under Title III of the ADA. All places of public accommodation, including for profit and nonprofit that affect commerce must follow Title III guidelines. Examples of businesses that follow Title III guidelines are sales and service establishments, restaurants, theaters, hotels, doctor’s offices, child care centers, fitness centers, private educational programs, and homeless shelters. Title III also applies to all commercial facilities including office buildings, factories and warehouses. While religious organizations are exempt from Title III requirements private businesses that lease space from religious organizations must still comply with Title III regulations. Title III entities must provide equal access to goods and services for individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting possible. Title III of the ADA also requires businesses to eliminate eligibility requirements that exclude or segregate individuals with disabilities unless the requirements are necessary for the operation of the accommodation.
Title III entities must also make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices and procedures that deny access unless the modification would fundamentally alter the nature of their goods or services provided. When necessary, public accommodations are required to provide auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication. In addition, public accommodations must also remove all architectural and structural barriers in existing facilities where readily achievable. Transportation provided by private entities must also be accessible. Public accommodations are not required to take any action that would result in undue financial or administrative burdens or in a direct threat, a significant risk of substantial harm to health and safety. Tax incentives may be available to help offset the costs of compliance. When constructing new buildings or altering existing facilities, public accommodations must follow the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. For existing facilities built prior to 1992, public accommodations must remove barriers where readily achievable.
For possible additional resources, please see our resources page or contact the Rocky Mountain ADA Center through our Technical Assistance Form, or call us directly at 800-949-4232.
The Rocky Mountain ADA Center is not an enforcement agency nor does it provide advocacy services. The information and materials provided by the center is intended solely as informal guidance and are not a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities. All communication with the center is strictly confidential.