Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Federal law that guarantees access for Americans with disabilities to public and private accommodations. It covers multiple areas of civil rights, including employment and access to government services.
Minnesota Human Rights Act (MNHRA): State law that prohibits discrimination against protected classes (e.g., ability, gender, race, sexuality), including requirements for providing accommodations for Minnesotans with disabilities.
Minnesota State Building Code: Administrative requirements for buildings in the state of Minnesota, including requirements for accessibility.
Enforcement: The Americans with Disabilities Act is enforced through lawsuits brought in Federal Court. The Minnesota Human Rights Act is enforced through lawsuits brought in Federal and State Court and complaint-driven investigations by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The Building Code is enforced through inspections by licensed code inspectors.
When does it apply?: The Americans with Disabilities Act and Minnesota Human Rights Act provides an ongoing requirement for entities to provide access. The accessibility requirements of the State Building Code contains a grandfather clause; access requirements are enforced in new construction, remodeling or a significant change in use.
What is HF 1542?
During the 2017 Legislative Session, the State Legislature passed legislation that said requirements for individuals pursuing accessibility lawsuits under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Individuals represented by a lawyer must provide a notice of architectural barriers and allow 60 days for the business to remedy the access violation. After that period, individuals may sue for any physical and emotional damages. These requirements do not apply to pro se litigants, individuals representing themselves in this process.
What can I do?
Sign up for an ADA training: Our access staff are available to come give trainings on complying with access laws free of charge for your Chamber of Commerce, business association or community group. To schedule a training, contact our ADA Coordinator, David Fenley, at 651-361-7809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call us for an over-the-phone consultation: If you have specific questions about your business, contact our office at 651-361-7800 to receive a FREE over-the-phone consultation.