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ACLU: Bill would roll back rights of people with disabilities

It has been 28 years since Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. The landmark legislation pushed businesses to recognize that people with disabilities have rights, too.

A legislative proposal recently unveiled in the House of Representatives will undo one of the key tenets of the ADA and "roll back the rights of people with disabilities," the American Civil Liberties Union says.

The ACLU points out that Title III of the ADA requires businesses to make new buildings accessible to people with disabilities and to remove barriers to accessibility in existing buildings where it's "readily achievable."

A group of more than 100 members of Congress is pushing H.R. 620, the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017.” The proposal "would require people with disabilities who encounter access barriers ... to become legal experts on the code, to provide 'notice' to the business of what code they are violating, and to wait six months or longer" before a person can file a lawsuit, the ACLU says.

The legislation would create a complex, time-consuming process -- and that is just what the businesses behind the proposal want, the civil liberties watchdog says.

Proponents of the bill say it will make it more difficult to file nuisance ADA claims. Critics point out that ADA-related lawsuits are rare and that the proposal would heap "excessive burdens on individuals with disabilities."

If you have suffered discrimination in the workplace because of a disability, contact the Milwaukee employment law firm of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c.

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