Disability Rights and Public Accommodations: State-by-State

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1 A Prject f the Burtn Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (vice/tty) Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Stephen A. Rsenbaum, Jhn & Elizabeth Balt Lecturer, University f Califrnia, Berkeley Schl f Law; Lecturer, Stanfrd Law Schl February 2011 Intrductin Many states have their wn disability rights laws that cmplement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sme states have different definitins f wh is prtected r what entities are required t cmply, as well as different requirements r prhibitins. Sme states prvide an agency, either mandatry r vluntary, t assist with investigatin and enfrcement. States may prvide different remedies, such as damages r criminal penalties fr vilatins. T the extent that a state law cnflicts with the ADA, the state law is preempted by the federal law. Thus, fr example, if a state law allws a public accmmdatin t charge a persn with a disability extra fr bringing a service animal r if it allws a public accmmdatin t charge a persn with a disability fr the cst f an auxiliary aid, such as a sign language interpreter, that prtin f the state law is verridden by the federal law and is nt enfrceable. Hwever, if a state law prvides nndiscriminatin requirements r remedies that are similar r additinal t the ADA requirements, a persn with a disability may use the state law in additin t the ADA. Thus, fr example, if a state law includes the same requirement as the ADA but als allws an individual wh has encuntered discriminatin t get cmpensatin, the individual may pursue bth the ADA claim and the state law claim. Infrmatin, Guidance and Training n the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1419 Maysn Street, Atlanta, GA (v/tty) (v/tty) (Fax) Funded by the Natinal Institute n Disability and Rehabilitatin Research f the U.S. Department f Educatin #H133A110021

2 Therefre, in determining cmpliance, it is imprtant fr peple with disabilities and businesses t understand their state's disability rights laws. This dcument prvides summaries f state disability rights laws cvering cmmercial entities in the eight sutheast states (Alabama, Flrida, Gergia, Kentucky, Nrth Carlina, Suth Carlina, Mississippi, and Tennessee) and cmpares them t Title III f the ADA. Fcus areas f the cmparisn include wh is prtected, wh is cvered, general nndiscriminatin requirements, rules regarding service animals, and enfrcement schemes and remedies. Table f Cntents Intrductin... 1 Title III f the ADA... 3 State-by-State Index... 5 Alabama... 6 Flrida... 8 Gergia Kentucky Mississippi Nrth Carlina Suth Carlina Tennessee Disclaimer The Sutheast ADA Center is funded by the Natinal Institute n Disability and Rehabilitatin Research (NIDRR) f the U.S. Department f Educatin (Grant #H133A110021) t prvide infrmatin, materials, training and technical assistance n the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Hwever, yu shuld be aware that NIDRR is nt respnsible fr enfrcement f the ADA. Fr mre infrmatin r assistance, please cntact the Sutheast ADA Center via its website at r by calling (v/tty) [AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN] r (v/tty). The infrmatin, materials, and/r technical assistance prvided are intended slely as infrmal guidance, and are neither a determinatin f yur legal rights r respnsibilities under the ADA, nr binding n any agency with enfrcement respnsibility under the ADA. The Sutheast ADA Center des nt warrant the accuracy f any infrmatin cntained herein. Any links t nn-sutheast ADA Center infrmatin are prvided as a curtesy and are nt intended t nr d they cnstitute an endrsement f the linked materials. Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 2 f 26

3 Title III f the ADA 1 Title III f the federal ADA prhibits discriminatin against peple with disabilities by places f public accmmdatin. A persn with a disability is smene with a physical r mental impairment that substantially limits ne r mre majr life activities. (28 CFR ) There are 12 categries f public accmmdatins cvered under Title III (28 CFR ): Inns, htels, mtels and ther places f ldging2 Restaurants, bars and ther places serving fd r drink Mvie theaters, playhuses, cncert halls, stadiums and ther places fr exhibitins r entertainment Auditriums, cnventin centers, lecture halls and ther gathering places Bakeries, grcery, clthing and hardware stres, shpping centers and ther sales r rental establishments Laundrmats, dry-cleaners, banks, barber and beauty shps travel and she-repair services, funeral parlrs, gas statins, pharmacies, prfessinal ffices (lawyer, accuntant, insurance, health care prvider) and ther service establishments Terminals, depts and ther public transprtatin statins Museums, libraries, galleries and ther places fr public displays r cllectins Parks, zs, amusement parks and ther places f recreatin Schls (nursery, elementary, secndary, undergraduate and private pstgraduate) & ther places f educatin Day care and senir centers, hmeless shelters, fd banks, adptin agencies and ther scial service centers Gyms, health spas, bwling alleys, glf curses & ther places fr exercise r recreatin. 1 Title III f the ADA is at 42 United States Cde (USC) The ADA Title III regulatins (28 Cde f Federal Regulatins (CFR) Part 36) and the ADA Standards fr Accessible Design, as amended, are available n the Department f Justice ADA website Citatins t the relevant sectins are given fr ease f reference. 2 Except fr ldging places lcated within a building cntaining five r fewer rms fr rent r payment, which is als ccupied by the wner and is his r her residence. 28 CFR Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 3 f 26

4 Title III prhibits exclusin and ther frms f discriminatin n the basis f disability, and requires cvered entities t reasnably mdify their plicies, practices and prcedures t allw peple with disabilities t participate. One type f required plicy mdificatin is t allw service animals entry t public accmmdatins. (28 CFR (c)) The ADA, as amended, states that a service animal is any dg (r miniature hrse) that is individually trained t d wrk r perfrm tasks fr the benefit f an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensry, psychiatric, intellectual, r ther mental disability. (28 CFR ) A service animal is nt required t be licensed r certified by a gvernment r ther entity r t wear identificatin r equipment (e.g., vest r harness). A public accmmdatin may nt charge a persn with a disability extra fr bringing a service animal. (28 CFR (c)(6) & (8)) Title III als requires cvered entities t ensure their cmmunicatin with peple with disabilities is as effective as their cmmunicatin with thers, by prviding auxiliary aids and services. (28 CFR ) Cvered entities are required t make their physical facilities accessible accrding t the ADA Standards fr Accessible Design, with the required level f accessibility depending n whether the facility was built r altered befre r after the effective date f the law (March 15, 2012 fr new cnstructin and alteratins). (28 CFR , ) Title III is enfrceable by private individuals with disabilities in curt (there is a "private right f actin"). Individuals can file cmplaints with the U.S. Department f Justice, but they are nt required t d s. In curt, individuals can get injunctive relief (a curt rder t fix the prblem, stp discriminating, r take affirmative steps), but cannt get cmpensatin, r damages, fr discriminatin under Title III. There are n criminal penalties r punitive damages available under Title III. The Department f Justice can impse civil penalties. Individuals wh file lawsuits under Title III can recver their attrney's fees if they win. Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 4 f 26

5 State-by-State Index Alabama Flrida Gergia Kentucky Mississippi Prtected Class: Cvered Entities: Service Animals: Enfrcement and Remedies: Prtected Class: Cvered Entities: Service Animals: Enfrcement and Remedies: Prtected Class: Cvered Entities: Service Animals: Enfrcement and Remedies: Prtected Class: Cvered Entities: Service Animals: Enfrcement and Remedies: Prtected Class: Cvered Entities: Service Animals: Enfrcement and Remedies: Nrth Carlina Prtected Class: Cvered Entities: Service Animals: Enfrcement and Remedies: Suth Carlina Tennessee Prtected Class: Cvered Entities: Service Animals: Enfrcement and Remedies: Prtected Class: Cvered Entities: Service Animals: Enfrcement and Remedies: Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 5 f 26

6 Alabama The Alabama legislature adpted a building cde in 1965 with the intent t make all public buildings and facilities accessible t, and functinal fr, the physically handicapped t, thrugh and within their drs Ala. Cde (West s 2010). A decade later, it apprved a Handicapped Persns Cde, declaring the plicy f this state [is] t encurage and enable the blind, the visually handicapped and the therwise physically disabled t participate fully in the scial and ecnmic life f the state Ala. Cde Prtected Class: Fr purpses f building accessibility, the statute prtects persns wh are blind, visually handicapped and therwise physically disabled, including thse wh have nnambulatry disabilities, semiambulatry disabilities, sight disabilities, hearing disabilities, disabilities f incrdinatin and aging. Ala. Cde Fr purpses f ther rights, the Handicapped Persns Cde prtects peple with visin disabilities and ther physical disabilities. Ala. Cde Persns wh are blind, visually and therwise physically disabled have the right t full and free use 3 f streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities and ther public places. They are als entitled t full and equal accmmdatins, advantages, facilities and privileges f all cmmn carriers and public mdes f transprtatin and places t which the general public is invited. Ala. Cde t Cvered Entities: A public accmmdatin r place includes streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways; cmmn carriers and public transit; public buildings and facilities; htels, mtels, ldging places and places f amusement r resrt. Ala. Cde t [T]he same right as the able-bdied Ala. Cde Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 6 f 26

7 Service Animals: Every ttally r partially blind persn and every hearing-impaired persn shall have the right t be accmpanied by an especially trained guide dg r hearing ear dg in any f the places f public accmmdatin r transprtatin, withut charge. The dg s user/wner is liable fr any damage dne t the premises r facilities. Ala. Cde Enfrcement and Remedies: A persn, firm r crpratin wh denies r interferes with admissin t, r enjyment f, full and free use f public facilities, public accmmdatins and transprtatin by [t]he blind, the visually handicapped, and the therwise physically disabled is guilty f a misdemeanr. A persn wh interferes with the rights f a blind r disabled persn t full and free use f public facilities, public places and thrughfares and t full and equal accmmdatins and transprtatin (including the right t be accmpanied by a guide dg) is als guilty f a misdemeanr. N fine r term f imprisnment is specified. Ala. Cde There is n private right f actin t sue fr mney damages r equitable relief (an rder declaring rights r an rder t stp, repair r t take affirmative steps) under the Alabama disability anti-discriminatin statutes. Hardesty v. CPRM, 391 Fed.Supp. 2d 1067, 1071 (M.D.Ala. 2005): a misdemeanr may cnstitute a legitimate civil cause f actin, such as a claim under the ADA r a claim f negligence r ther duty wed t plaintiff. Cmparisn with the ADA Alabama prtects a smaller grup f peple than the ADA (peple with cgnitive and psychiatric disabilities d nt appear t be prtected). Service animals are nly cvered under Alabama law if they are fr peple with visin r hearing disabilities. Alabama law des nt permit individuals t sue t challenge discriminatin, but des prvide fr criminal penalties. Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 7 f 26

8 Flrida The Flrida Civil Rights Act f 1992 is intended t secure freedm frm disability-based discriminatin, amng ther frms f discriminatin, fr all Flridians. It seeks t prtect individuals interest in persnal dignity, t make available t the state their full prductive capacities, t secure the state against dmestic strife and unrest, t preserve the public safety, health, and general welfare, and t prmte the interests, rights, and privileges f individuals within the state. Fla. Stat. Ann (West s 2009). The legislature later adpted a separate statute declaring that an individual with a disability is entitled t full and equal accmmdatins, advantages, facilities, and privileges in all public accmmdatins. Fla. Stat. Ann (2). Prtected Class: Individual[s] with a disability are defined as persns wh are deaf, hardf-hearing, blind, visually impaired, r therwise physically disabled. Fla. Stat. Ann (1)(b). An individual with a disability is entitled t full and equal accmmdatins, advantages, facilities, and privileges in all public accmmdatins. Fla. Stat. Ann (2). In almst identical language, the Flrida Civil Rights Act, t be liberally cnstrued accrding t the fair imprt f its terms, states that individuals are entitled t the full and equal enjyment f gds, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and public accmmdatins withut regard t disability and ther bases f discriminatin (race, ethnicity, sex, etc.). Fla. Stat. Ann Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 8 f 26

9 Cvered Entities: The enumerated public accmmdatins include: cmmn carriers and public mdes f transprtatin; htels, mtels and ther ldgings; 4 restaurants and fd retailers; 5 gas statins; theaters, cncert halls, sprts arenas and ther places f exhibitin r entertainment. Fla. Stat. Ann (1)(c) & (11). Service Animals: An individual with a disability has the right t be accmpanied by a service animal in all areas f a public accmmdatin that the public r custmers are nrmally permitted (r invited ) t ccupy, with n additinal surcharge r depsit. The individual must supervise and care fr the animal and is liable fr any damage it causes, if the nn-disabled wner f a pet wuld be similarly charged by the entity. Fla. Stat. Ann (3) & (8). Dcumentatin that the service animal is trained is nt a precnditin fr prviding service r accmpaniment, but a public accmmdatin may ask if an animal is a service animal r what tasks it has been trained t perfrm, in rder t determine if it is a service animal r a pet. A service animal may be excluded r remved frm the premises if its behavir pses a direct threat t the health and safety f thers but nt due t allergies r fear f animals. Fla. Stat. Ann (3)(a) & (e). Enfrcement and Remedies: Individuals must file a discriminatin cmplaint with the Flrida Human Relatins Cmmissin. They may file a civil actin in curt fr cmpensatry and punitive damages (up t $100,000) and/r injunctive relief (an rder t stp r t take affirmative steps), if nt satisfied by the Cmmissin. Fla. Stat. Ann & A ldging that has fur r fewer rms fr rent (r ther payment), and is ccupied by the wner as her residence, is exempt frm cverage as a public accmmdatin. Fla. Stat. Ann (11)(a). 5 The legislatin cvers a facility where the sale f fd fr n-site cnsumptin is the principal business. This includes gas statins and retail establishments that sell fd. Fla. Stat. Ann The right f public ldging r fd establishments t refuse accmmdatins r service t anyne cnsidered bjectinable r undesirable may nt be based upn physical disability. Fla. Stat. Ann Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 9 f 26

10 The state Attrney General may file a cmplaint in circuit curt fr damages, injunctive relief and/r civil penalties (up t $10,000 per vilatin) and ther apprpriate relief, if there is a pattern r practice f discriminatin, r discriminatin that raises an issue f great public interest. Fla. Stat. Ann Any persn, firm r crpratin wh denies r interferes with admittance t, r enjyment f, a public accmmdatin, r therwise interferes with the rights f an individual with a disability cmmits a secnd degree misdemeanr, punishable by a maximum fine f $500 r imprisnment up t 60 days. Fla. Stat. Ann (4). Cmparisn with the ADA Flrida s prtected class is narrwer than federal law (peple with cgnitive and mental disabilities d nt appear t be cvered) and its definitin f public accmmdatins appears narrwer as well. Hwever, state curts may rder cmpensatry and punitive damages fr discriminatry practices, in additin t injunctive relief. Individuals must first file with the Flrida Human Relatins Cmmissin, which can investigate cmplaints and rder varius frms f relief. State law prvides criminal penalties fr denial f access t public accmmdatins r interference with rights under the Flrida Civil Rights Act. Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 10 f 26

11 Gergia The Gergia legislature adpted a statute in 1981 t further a plicy f full participatin f persns with disabilities and elderly persns in the state s scial and ecnmic life, t prmte their educatin and rehabilitatin and t eliminate physical barriers t facilities pen t the public. Off. Cde Ga. Ann (2011). Prtected Class: Persns wh are blind, deaf r have visual r physical disabilities, persns engaged in training r raising a guide dg r service dg (and elderly persns). Off. Cde Ga. Ann Physically disabled persn means any persn, regardless f age, wh is subject t a physilgical defect r deficiency regardless f its cause, nature, r extent that renders the persn unable t mve abut withut the aid f crutches, a wheelchair, r any ther frm f supprt, r that limits the persn's functinal ability t ambulate, climb, descend, sit, rise, r t perfrm any related functin. Off. Cde Ga. Ann Persns wh are blind, deaf r have visual r physical disabilities are entitled t full and equal accmmdatins, advantages, facilities and privileges f all cmmn carriers, public mdes f transprtatin, htels, ldging places, places f public accmmdatin, amusement r resrt. Off. Cde Ga. Ann (a). Cvered Entities: Facilities used by the public (t which the public is invited), including but nt limited t, walkways, sidewalks, curbings, parking lts, parks, stadiums, cliseums, and any ther manmade r develped area used by the public. Gvernment buildings, public buildings, htels, ldging places, places f public accmmdatin, amusement r resrt are als cvered, as is public transit. Off. Cde Ga. Ann & (a). All gvernment buildings, public buildings, and facilities are als required t meet state standards fr accessibility, based n federal Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Off. Cde Ga. Ann & Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 11 f 26

12 Service Animals: Every ttally r partially blind persn and every deaf r physically disabled persn shall have the right t be accmpanied by an especially trained guide dg r service dg, respectively, in any f the places f public accmmdatin r transprtatin, r a private r public schl, withut charge. The dg s user/wner is liable fr any damage dne t the premises r facilities. The service dg must be identified as having been trained by a schl fr seeing eye, hearing, service, r guide dgs. Off. Cde Ga. Ann (b)) Enfrcement and Remedies: Any persn, firm r crpratin wh denies r interferes with access t public facilities r buildings by members f the prtected class, r therwise interferes with the rights granted them under these statutes, is guilty f a (high and aggravated) misdemeanr subject t a maximum fine f $2000 and/r up t 30 days in jail. Off. Cde Ga. Ann The Safety Fire Cmmissiner, Bard f Regents, lcal building cde fficials and lcal fire departments have jint authrity t enfrce the access and building cde requirements by issuing warnings and, if necessary, prsecuting cases in superir curt. Off. Cde Ga. Ann A federal Curt f Appeals has held that there is n private right t sue under Gergia state law fr failure t prvide full and equal public accmmdatins r access t public facilities. Smith v. Wal-Mart Stres, Inc. 167 F.3d 286, (6 th Cir. 1999) (althugh there is n private right f actin, individual may sue entity fr negligence and failure t implement ADA-mandated requirements). Hwever, a federal district curt later ruled that an innkeeper has a legal duty under Gergia law t receive a blind guest wh uses a service dg and nt t d s is a denial f an accmmdatin. Amick v. BM & KM, Inc., 275 F.Supp.2d 1378, 1383 (N.D. Ga. 2003). Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 12 f 26

13 Cmparisn with the ADA Gergia prtects a smaller grup f peple than the ADA, and has a narrwer categry f cvered entities, except perhaps fr certain frms f public transprtatin. Service animals are nly cvered under Gergia law if it can be shwn they were trained by a specialized schl. It is unclear whether Gergia allws individuals t sue fr denial f public accmmdatins, ther than fr negligence. Criminal penalties may be impsed fr denial f access t public places. State law preempts federal law if it affrds greater access Off. Cde Ga. Ann (a). Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 13 f 26

14 Kentucky The Kentucky Civil Rights Act was enacted t implement the plicies embdied in federal civil rights legislatin, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. Its general purpse is t safeguard all individuals within the state frm discriminatin because f the persn's status as a qualified individual with a disability t prtect their interest in persnal dignity and freedm frm humiliatin, t make available t the state their full prductive capacities, t secure the state against dmestic strife and unrest which wuld menace its demcratic institutins, t preserve the public safety, health, and general welfare, and t further the interest, rights, and privileges f individuals within the state. First adpted in 1966, the Act is nt meant t repeal any ther Kentucky disability anti-discriminatin law. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann (West s 2010). Prtected Class: Individuals with a disability are defined, as under the ADA, as thse wh (1) have a physical r mental impairment that substantially limits ne r mre majr life activity; (2) have a recrd f such an impairment; r (3) are regarded as having such an impairment. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann (4). Persns with a disability are prtected against any direct r indirect act r practice f exclusin, distinctin, restrictin, segregatin, limitatin, refusal, denial, r any ther act r practice f differentiatin r preference in the treatment based n their disability. They are als prtected against the aiding, abetting, inciting, cercing, r cmpelling f thse practices. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann (5). It is an unlawful practice t deny an individual the full and equal enjyment f the gds, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accmmdatins f a place f public accmmdatin, resrt, r amusement, n the grund f disability, amng ther grunds. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 14 f 26

15 Cvered Entities: A place f public accmmdatin, resrt, r amusement includes any place, stre, r ther establishment which supplies gds r services t the general public r which slicits r accepts the patrnage f the general public 6 r which is supprted directly r indirectly by gvernment funds. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann Service Animals: Persns accmpanied by an assistance dg cannt be denied entry t (r full and equal use f) any htel, mtel r eating establishment, r t full and equal accmmdatins, facilities, and privileges f all public buildings, places f amusement, theater, r resrt and (if the dg des nt ccupy a seat r endanger public safety) n all public transprtatin. There shall be n licensing fees, additinal charges r fare fr the dg, but the dg wner/user must cmply with state animal licensing and vaccinatin requirements. N persn shall willfully r maliciusly interfere with an assistance dg r the dg's user. 7 Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann Enfrcement and Remedies: The Kentucky Cmmissin n Human Rights was established t encurage fair treatment fr, t fster mutual understanding and respect amng and t discurage discriminatin against any racial r ethnic grup r its members. It has the pwer t investigate, r initiate, cmplaints (filed by individuals r the state Attrney General), reach a cnciliatin agreement between the parties, r t cnduct hearings. The Cmmissin can rder injunctive relief (t stp a practice r rder admissin r entry) and, if necessary, can file a cmplaint in the state circuit curt seeking injunctive relief r enfrcement f an rder r agreement. 6 Exceptins are: (1) a private club if its plicies are determined by its members and its facilities r services are available nly t members and their authentic guests; and (2) a rming r barding huse with ne r fewer rms fr rent, lcated in an wner-ccupied residence. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann (1) & (2). 7 Emergency medical treatment shall nt be denied t an assistance dg, regardless f the wner/user s ability t pay befre treatment. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann (11). Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 15 f 26

16 Althugh its missin under the statute is limited t racial and ethnic discriminatin, the Cmmissin appears t accept cmplaints filed n ther discriminatry grunds, such as disability. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann A persn injured by any vilatin f the Civil Rights Act may sue in circuit curt t stp further vilatins, and t recver actual damages (including humiliatin, persnal indignity, mental r emtinal injury r ther intangible injuries), the csts f the lawsuit and reasnable attrneys fees, and any ther remedies cntained in the statute. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann ; Mitchell v. Seabard System R.R., 883 F.2d 451, 454 (6 th Cir. 1989). Punitive damages are nt available under the Act. Steinhff v. Upriver Restaurant Jt. Venture, 117 F.Supp. 598, 606 (E.D. Ky. 2000); Brks v. Lexingtn-Fayette Urban C. Husing Auth., 132 S.W. 3d 790, 808 (2004).There is n requirement t file a cmplaint with the Cmmissin n Human Rights befre ging t curt. A persn wh is cnvicted fr denying entry r full and equal use under the assistance dg statute must pay a fine ranging frm $250 t $1000 r serve frm 10 t 30 days in jail, r bth. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann Cmparisn with the ADA Kentucky s prtected class is identical t the ADA s. Hwever, the definitin f public accmmdatins appears narrwer than under federal law. Actual damages fr discriminatry practices may be awarded by a curt (including fr emtinal injury). The Kentucky Human Relatins Cmmissin can mst likely receive cmplaints f disability-based discriminatin and rder varius frms f relief, and file cases in curt. State law prvides mandatry criminal penalties fr vilatins f the service animal statute. Disability discriminatin claims brught under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act are interpreted cnsistently with standards develped under the ADA. Brysn v. Regis Crp., 498 F.3d 561 (6th Cir. 2007). Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 16 f 26

17 Mississippi The Mississippi legislature amended the Public Welfare Cde in the 1970s t require equal access fr persns with visual, hearing and ther physical disabilities t public facilities and places t which the general public is invited. Ms. Cde Ann t (West s 2009). It als adpted accessibility specificatins fr public buildings and facilities, ranging frm ramps, elevatrs and stairways t restrms, parking spaces, water fundatins, eliminatin f hazards and signage. Ms. Cde Ann t Prtected Class: Persns wh are blind, visually handicapped, deaf r physically disabled. Ms. Cde Ann & The same right as the able-bdied t full and free use f the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, and ther public places and full and equal access t public accmmdatins (and all accmpanying rights and privileges). Failure t carry a white cane r use a service dg n a leash shall nt cnstitute negligence in and f itself (negligence per se). Ms. Cde Ann , & Cvered Entities: A public accmmdatin r place includes streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways; cmmn carriers and public transit; public buildings and facilities; htels, mtels, ldging places and places f amusement r resrt r places t which the public is invited. Ms. Cde Ann & Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 17 f 26

18 Service Animals: Any blind, mbility-impaired r hearing-impaired persn wh uses a dg r ther animal specifically trained as a guide, leader, listener r fr any ther assistance necessary in day-t-day activities shall be entitled t the full and equal accmmdatins f htels, ldging places, businesses pen t the public fr the sale f any gds r services and all places f public accmmdatin, amusement, r resrt and ther places t which the general public is invited and (if the animal des nt ccupy a seat and is n a leash r sufficiently restrained) n all public transprtatin. N persn shall be deprived f any f the abve advantages r privileges r charged a fee fr use f the animal. Ms. Cde Ann Enfrcement and Remedies: Any persn, firm r crpratin wh denies r interferes with access by members f the prtected class t the public facilities r places, public accmmdatins, r therwise interferes with their rights granted under the abve statutes, is subject t a fine f $100 r 60-day jail time r bth. Ms. Cde Ann Cmparisn with the ADA The federal law ffers greater prtectin than Mississippi state law in all respects the classes f persns with disabilities wh are prtected, the rights and prhibited practices (including service animal restrictins), cvered entities, the means f enfrcement and the remedies. Hwever, state law des have criminal penalties fr denial f (r interference with) access t public accmmdatins. 8 In 2000, the legislature adpted the Mississippi Supprt Animal Act, the terms f which are spelled ut abve. Hwever, it failed t repeal a narrwer statute that states: Every ttally r partially blind persn and deaf persn shall have the right t be accmpanied by a guide dg r hearing ear dg n a blaze range leash, especially trained fr the purpse, in any f the places f public accmmdatin r transprtatin, withut charge. The dg s user/wner is liable fr any damage dne t the premises r facilities. Ms. Cde Ann Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 18 f 26

19 Nrth Carlina Nrth Carlina adpted the Persns with Disabilities Prtectin Act in Its purpse is t ensure equality f pprtunity, t prmte independent living, self-determinatin, and ecnmic self-sufficiency, and t encurage and enable all persns with disabilities t participate fully t the maximum extent f their abilities in the scial and ecnmic life f the State, t engage in remunerative emplyment, t use available public accmmdatins and public services, and t therwise pursue their rights and privileges as inhabitants f this State. The General Assembly fund that disability-based discriminatin is cntrary t the public interest and t the principles f freedm and equality f pprtunity [and] threatens the rights and prper privileges f the inhabitants f th[e] State; and such discriminatin results in a failure t realize the prductive capacity f individuals t their fullest extent. N.C. General Stat. 168A-1 & 168A-2 (2010). Prtected Class: Qualified persns with a disability. That is, persns with a disability wh can benefit frm the gds r services prvided by the place f public accmmdatin As under the ADA, "persn with a disability" means smene wh (1) has a physical r mental impairment which substantially limits ne r mre majr life activities; (2) has a recrd f such an impairment; r (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. N.C. General Stat. 168A-3(7) & (9). 9 Full and equal accmmdatins, advantages, facilities and privileges f all cmmn carriers, public mdes f transprtatin, htels, ldging places, places f public accmmdatin, amusement r resrt t which the general public is invited. N.C. General Stat In a 1990 case, persns with cmmunicable diseases r wh tested psitive fr HIV were nt cnsidered by the Nrth Carlina Supreme Curt t be persns with a disability. Burgess v. Yur Huse f Raleigh, Inc., 388 S.E.2d 134(1990). 10 This statute was adpted in 1973 befre enactment f the Persns with Disabilities Prtectin Act. Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 19 f 26

20 In additin, it is a discriminatry practice t deny a qualified persn with a disability the full and equal enjyment f the gds, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accmmdatins f a place f public accmmdatin, r public transprtatin, n the basis f a disabling cnditin. 11 N.C. General Stat. 168A-6 & 168A-8. Cvered Entities: A place f public accmmdatins" includes any place, facility, stre, ther establishment, htel, r mtel, which supplies gds r services n the premises t the public r which slicits r accepts the patrnage f any persn. Als included are cmmn carriers and mdes f public transprtatin, with the exceptin f interstate air carriers and certain lcal, private transit systems in existence n Octber 1, N.C. General Stat. 168A-3(8) & 168A-8. Service Animals: Every persn with a disability has the right t be accmpanied by a trained service animal (r animal in training) in any place f public accmmdatin, n any cmmn carrier r public transprtatin, r n any premises the persn leases, rents, r uses. The persn cannt be charged any extra fees, but is liable fr prperty damage caused by the animal. T qualify, a persn must shw a tag r shw that the animal is being trained (r has been trained) as a service animal. N.C. General Stat & Enfrcement and Remedies: A persn wh requests a reasnable accmmdatin must infrm the place f public accmmdatin f their disabling cnditin and submit any necessary medical dcumentatin. Once an accmmdatin has been requested (r if a ptential accmmdatin is bvius), the place f public accmmdatin shall discuss pssible and feasible ptins with the qualifying persn wh requests it, investigate, and make the accmmdatin if reasnable. N.C. General Stat. 168A Nte: Cmpliance with the Nrth Carlina Building Cde will satisfy any public accmmdatins challenges based n structural access. In additin, public transprtatin systems may use alternative methds t prvide transprtatin, as lng as the transprt ffered is equivalent t that ffered nn-disabled persns. N.C. General Stat. 168A-6 & 168A-8. Disability Rights and Public Accmmdatins: State-by-State Page 20 f 26

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