Is the DOJ Abandoning ADA Enforcement?

department of justice

It is no secret that President Donald Trump has advocated rolling back regulations affecting businesses.  Most of the regulations at issue have concerned the coal industry and other industries that impact the environment. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 27 years old in July 2017 and is still recognized as much-needed legislation going forward.  Recent actions by the Department of Justice (DOJ), however, have caused some to fear that laws protecting people with disabilities may be negatively affected by the current administration’s focus on deregulation.

In August, 2017, the Daily Beast reported that the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ dismissed its appeal on behalf of a deputy sheriff who filed an ADA lawsuit when her employer did not accommodate her after she underwent heart surgery.  While the DOJ is not involved in every ADA case litigated and an individual may pursue his own case in court, the withdrawal by the DOJ in this case has disability advocates worried because they fear this action may signify that the DOJ will give lower priority to cases involving the rights of people with disabilities.

Yet, the DOJ recently issued a report highlighting its accomplishments in enforcing the ADA in acknowledgment of the 27th anniversary.  That report indicates the DOJ is using settlement agreements to enforce the ADA rather than litigation.  No doubt, disability advocates will continue to monitor the DOJ’s actions concerning ADA enforcement.

If you are a person with a disability and have faced difficulties accessing public buildings that are not ADA compliant, please contact us.  We can help!