ADA in the News March 19, 2021

Court Denies Uber’s Motion to Dismiss ADA Discrimination Complaint

On Monday, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the District of Columbia District Court issued an opinion denying Uber Technologies Inc.’s motion to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DCHRA).

According to the opinion, “plaintiff Equal Rights Center (‘ERC’) allege(d) that defendant Uber – a company that maintains a ride-sharing application that connects users to drivers - systemically discriminates against those disabled individuals in the District of Columbia who use non-foldable wheelchairs, because Uber’s wheelchair accessible ride-share services are allegedly far less reliable and predictable than its non-wheelchair accessible offerings.”


Attorneys Anticipate EEOC Vaccine Incentive Guidance 'Soon'

Gradually, COVID-19 vaccinations are becoming available to the broader U.S. population. States vary widely in terms of the vaccine eligibility plans. Some, such as Maine, are taking an age-based approach to eligibility, whereas the vast majority have identified various demographic and occupational groups that will be phased in over the coming months, according to HR Dive research.

Long before the first shots were administered, however, management-side labor and employment attorneys spoke about the potential need for employers to encourage vaccination and educate their workforces about the process. One particular area of interest is incentivization, particularly in the context of "health-contingent" wellness programs, according to attorneys who authored a February Epstein Becker Green blog post.


Starbucks Rolls Out Services to Help Visually Impaired Customers Navigate US Stores

Starbucks began offering customers with vision impairments on Monday free access to Aira, a technology service that connects diners with remote agents via smartphone in order to describe the visual surroundings, according to a Starbucks post. The coffee chain first tested the technology in seven U.S. cities earlier this year.

Beginning this summer, Starbucks will offer large print and Braille menus, developed in partnership with the National Braille Press, at all of its U.S. and Canada locations. These moves are part of Starbucks’ ongoing initiative to enhance accessibility at its stores and uphold its commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity. In 2018, it opened its first U.S. Signing Store and now offers nine locations globally where employees are proficient in American Sign Language.

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