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Can your hotel’s employees cause an ADA lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2023 | ADA |

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against a person’s disability in different areas. ADA Title III covers compliance laws that public accommodations should follow, including hotels, movie theaters, recreation facilities and transportation services, among others. Therefore, as a hotel owner, your business is covered by this title

However, in some instances, you may have followed all regulations by having accessible features in the hotel, an ADA compliant website and so on, but get sued due to a mistake made by an employee.

Here are three ways your hotel’s employees may cause an ADA lawsuit.

Failing to or taking too long to respond to a customer’s request

A customer with a disability may make a request, informing the hotel how they can best accommodate them. If your employee fails to respond to this request or takes too long to do so, the guest may feel discriminated against.  This is also  true of a hotels website.    The website should have an Accessibility Statement, and if a toll free ADA helpline number is added to the Accessibility Statement, if called, it should be answered within a reasonable time and not just sent to voice mail.

Misusing Transaction Counters

You should train your employees to not use lower level transaction counters as a place to store items such as packages being delivered.  These lower level counters are for use by disabled persons. 

Hotel Front Loading Areas

Employees should maintain signs that distinguish loading areas and make sure the areas are not taken up with planters, boxes, carts, or other objects.  If cars could drive into and park in the area that is otherwise a loading zone, then the area would need to have proper diagonal stripes and signage to keep cars from parking in the “access aisle” where person would exit a car or van.

You should have a written policies and procedures manual and periodic training sessions developed with the help of an experienced ADA law firm to help train your employees to accommodate guests with different types of disabilities.