How to File an ADA Complaint?

Man in wheelchair looking up the stepsSince 1991 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has required all businesses and government agencies to protect the civil righs of persons with disabilities by providing equal employment opportunities and being accessible. The the laws also prohibit descrimination of anyone else who may be associated with someone with a disabiity because of that association. The 2010 revised edition of the ADA extended those requirements. But even with these laws in place, many have still have/do not follow, which makes life very difficult for those with disabilities. So ewhat do you do when your rightys have been violated? One of the most effective ways is to file an ADA complaint.

So where do you start:

  • Remember with any entity an ADA complaint/violation must be reported within 180 days of when the incident occurred.

  • Learn the laws of the ADA so that you know if and when your rights have been violated. Visit the ADA website to learn the regulations and/or secure legal counsel. ADA Regulations and Technical Assistance Materials: http://www.ada.gov/publicat.htm . ADA Laws in the Workplace http://www.ehow.com/info_8467725_ada-laws-workplace.html

  • The ADA allows you to file a complaint or sue under three different titles:
       Title I - employment.
       Title II - state and local government and public transportation
       Title III - public access 

  • Write down all necessary information about the ADA violation or descrimination including:
       Date and time
       Names
       Location
       Owner and/or Business name
       Type of service business provides
       Whether its a government or private entity
       Documentation of physical lack of accessibility: photos, drawings, disgrams, etc. 
       A brief description of the violation.

  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 covers disabled individuals in the executive branch of the Federal government.

  • Non employment based discrimination in the air is covered by the Air Carrier Access Act.

 

 Filing the Complaint

  • Throughout the process make use of the ADA Information Line. They can help you figure title number of the ADA the violation falls under, assist you in filing out forms, provide free ADA materials and other things to aid you in filing the complaint. They also accept calls from businesses, State and local governments,who have questions about ADA requirements and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
       Toll-free ADA Information Line:
       Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM until 5:30 PM (eastern time) except on Thursday when the hours are 12:30 PM until 5:30 PM.
       800-514-0301 (voice)  800-514-0383 (TTY)  Spanish language service is also available.

  • Once you've determined the nature of your complaint, it must be filed with the correct office:
       Title I (employment Private, State and Local government) - Such complaints about violations by units of State and local government or by private employers should be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Call 800-669-4000 (voice) or 800-669-6820 (TTY).

       Title II (violations by units of State and local government) - such complaints about violations should be filed with the Department of Justice. Complaint form : http://www.ada.gov/publicat.htm#Anchor-TitleII-47857

       Title III  (violations of public accommodations and access by commercial facilities, private businesses, private transportation services, and non-profit service providers) - such complaints about violations should be filed with the Department of Justice. Complaint form: http://www.ada.gov/publicat.htm#Anchor-TitleIII-11481

       Title III (violations of public accommodations and access on public transportation) - such complaints about violations should be filed with the Federal Transit Administration. Rider Complaint form: http://www.fta.dot.gov/civilrights/12875_14816.html 

  • Visit the ADA website to find many of the printable violation forms. You may also contact the U.S. Department of Justice to have them send you one in the mail.

  • After submitting a claim to the EEOC, it will be reviewed and they should send you a "right to sue" letter.

  • If DOJ is unable to investigate your complaint for any reason, they will send you a letter explaining why. The most common reason is the lack of resources to do so.

  • Consider the ADA Mediation Program: http://www.ada.gov/mediate.htm   http://www.ada.gov/medbroch.htm

  • Though not necessary, consider bringing in a lawyer to help you through the process. The earlier the better,especially if you may be considering suing the business. 

  • You also have the option of filing your own case in U.S. District Court.


Other ADA Information

Deparment of Justice's ADA Homepage

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The Federal Transit Administration


 

 


 

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