Public accommodations are programs or services that are generally open and available to the public, including retail stores, libraries, gyms, schools, court houses, salons, health care facilities, restaurants, theaters, museums, and hotels. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, including HIV, in public accommodations. Disability-based discrimination in public accommodations may occur through exclusion from entering or participating in a program or service, or through imposition of different standards and rules for participation based solely on a person’s HIV status or other disability. Materials in this category include complaints, briefs, and settlement agreements that address discrimination in access to such services as dental care, weight loss programs, massage therapy, pharmacy assistance, emergency medical services, and surgical treatment. Also included are the text of Title III of the ADA itself, as well as its implementing regulations.
Goodman v. Western Dental Servs., Inc., Complaint
On behalf of two HIV-positive individuals, the HIV/AIDS Legal Services Alliance (HALSA) filed suit against a dental provider for refusing to provide dental services, specifically tooth extraction, to the HIV-positive individuals on the basis of their HIV status. This case was filed in California state court because plaintiffs in that state historically have fared better there than in federal court. This complaint alleges that the defendants violated the section of the Santa Monica Municipal Code that prohibits discrimination on the basis of HIV/AIDS, and two sections of the California Civil Code that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. The complaint also includes two tort claims of intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Although based on California law, the allegations in the complaint could easily be adapted to the requirements of other state courts or to ADA and/or Rehabilitation Act claims in federal court. Click here to download.
United States and The Massage Company (Los Angeles, CA), Settlement Agreement
In response to a complaint filed by an HIV-positive individual alleging that he was denied services by a massage therapy provider, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened and negotiated this settlement agreement. The complaint alleged that the plaintiff was denied services on the basis of his disability (HIV infection) in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The agreement provides for both individual and injunctive relief, including a requirement that the company appoint an ADA compliance official who will be responsible for ensuring that the company complies with the terms of the agreement. The company must also develop and adopt policies regarding its responsibilities under Title III of the ADA and submit those policies to DOJ for approval. Click here to download.