ADA in the News May 19, 2021

USAble Life to Pay $90,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Discrimination Suit

USAble Life (USAL), an insurance company based in Florida and Little Rock, will pay $90,000 to settle a retaliation discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, USAL first received notice around March 26, 2018 of the complaints of an employee in its Little Rock office to a third party that the company was discriminating against her based on her pregnancy, a form of sex discrimination, and disability for her anxiety and post-partem depression. On April 11, 2018, USAL fired her as retaliation for her complaints.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect employees who engage in protected activity, such as complaining about discrimination, from retaliation.


Settlement Agreement between the United States and the City of Santa Barbara

The United States Attorney’s Office (“USAO”) for the Central District of California initiated an investigation of Santa Barbara, which is responsible for the Santa Barbara intercity rail station (“Station”), for its compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12131–12165, and its implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 35; 49 C.F.R. Parts 37 and 38 (Department of Transportation (“DOT”) regulations). Pursuant to this investigation, the USAO reviewed available information about the Station. The USAO investigation revealed that Santa Barbara has failed to make the Station, for which it is responsible, readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs.


Duckworth, Brown and Casey Introduce Legislation to Make Public Transit More Accessible

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chair Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chair Bob Casey (D-PA), today introduced legislation to help make public transportation systems more accessible to passengers with disabilities. The All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act of 2021 would establish a federal grant program to support legacy transit and commuter rail authorities to upgrade existing stations to meet or exceed accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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