The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in various aspects of life. However, despite the ADA’s far-reaching protections, many states have taken it upon themselves to create additional protections for individuals with disabilities. In this article our New Orleans disability law firm explores the ways in which Louisiana’s state law expands on the protections provided by the ADA for disabled people.
Expanding on the Protections of the ADA
While the ADA is an essential piece of legislation, it sets only minimum standards for the protection of individuals with disabilities. That is why Louisiana provides several additional protections for disabled people beyond those provided by the ADA. These protections include:
- Expanded Definitions of Disability: The ADA defines a person with a disability as someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. However, Louisiana’s state law has a broader definition of disability that includes additional medical conditions such as epilepsy, HIV, and sickle cell anemia. Additionally, the state law considers individuals with a history of impairment or being regarded as having an impairment as having a disability. These expanded definitions provide additional protection to a more comprehensive range of people with disabilities.
- Employment Protections: The ADA provides protections for disabled individuals in employment, such as the right to reasonable accommodations and protection from discrimination. However, Louisiana’s employment discrimination law goes further by requiring that employers make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees and job applicants, even if it involves significant difficulty or expense. Additionally, Louisiana’s state law allows for emotional distress damages for employees who have been subjected to disability discrimination, providing greater incentives for employers to comply with the law.
- Public Accommodation Protections: The ADA mandates that all public accommodations, such as restaurants, hotels, and movie theaters, be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Louisiana’s state law takes these protections further by requiring that all new construction and significant renovations of public accommodations meet state accessibility standards. These standards exceed the federal requirements and include provisions for accessible parking, restroom facilities, and accessible routes.
- Housing Protections: The ADA provides protections for disabled individuals in housing, such as the right to reasonable accommodations and protection from discrimination. The Louisiana Landlord and Tenant Law takes the housing protections a bit further by prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in the sale or rental of housing, as well as requiring that new multifamily housing units meet state accessibility standards. These standards include wider doorways and accessible bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
- Transportation Protections: The ADA requires that public transportation systems provide accessible services to individuals with disabilities. But Louisiana’s state law requires that ALL taxi companies, including Uber and Lyft, provide accessible services to individuals with disabilities. This means that people with disabilitieshave access to reliable and affordable transportation options that meet their needs.
How a New Orleans Disability Law Firm Can Help
Navigating the complex world of disability law in Louisiana can be challenging, and hiring a New Orleans disability law firm can be invaluable. If you have been denied or need help applying for Social Security Disability Benefits, a New Orleans disability law firm can provide many benefits, including:
- Knowledge and Experience: A qualified disability lawyer will have extensive knowledge of the legal system and experience representing disabled clients in court. They can provide guidance and advice on your legal options and represent you in court if necessary.
- Assistance with Filing Claims: Filing a Social Security Disability claim can be a complicated process, and many claims are initially denied. A disability lawyer can assist you in filing your claim, ensuring that all necessary documentation is submitted throughout the process.
- Representation at Appeal: If your disability claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision and request a hearing. A disability law firm in New Orleans can represent you at the hearing, presenting your case and advocating for your rights.
- Understanding of Louisiana State Law: As discussed earlier, Louisiana state law provides additional protections for disabled individuals beyond those provided by the ADA. A disability lawyer in New Orleans will have a deep understanding of these additional protections and can ensure that you receive the full extent of legal protection available to you.
Our New Orleans Disability Law Firm Can Help with Your Claim
By working with a reputable disability law firm, New Orleans residents who are looking to file a disability claim gain access to legal expertise, assistance with filing claims and appeals, and representation in court. If you or a loved one needs assistance with a Social Security Disability claim in Louisiana, reach out to a qualified personal injury lawyer who can protect your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers can help you. At our law firm, every prospective plaintiff gets a free case assessment. We love helping people protect their rights and get what they deserve.
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