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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 2955

3rd Engrossment - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 06/02/2016 10:10am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to human rights; establishing requirements for disability discrimination
claims related to architectural barriers; requiring certain notices in building
inspection reports;amending Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 363A.28,
subdivision 3; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 363A.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 363A.28, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

For filing claim; filing options.

new text begin(a) new text endA claim of an unfair discriminatory
practice must be brought as a civil action pursuant to section 363A.33, subdivision 1, filed
in a charge with a local commission pursuant to section 363A.07, subdivision 3, or filed in
a charge with the commissioner within one year after the occurrence of the practice.

new text begin (b) new text endThe running of the one-year limitation period is suspended during the time a
potential charging party and respondent are voluntarily engaged in a dispute resolution
process involving a claim of unlawful discrimination under this chapter, including
arbitration, conciliation, mediation or grievance procedures pursuant to a collective
bargaining agreement or statutory, charter, ordinance provisions for a civil service or
other employment system or a school board sexual harassment or sexual violence policy.
A potential respondent who participates in such a process with a potential charging
party before a charge is filed or a civil action is brought shall notify the department and
the charging party in writing of the participation in the process and the date the process
commenced and shall also notify the department and the charging party of the ending date
of the process. A respondent who fails to provide this notification is barred from raising
the defense that the statute of limitations has run unless one year plus a period of time
equal to the suspension period has passed.

new text begin (c) The running of the one-year limitation period is suspended during the time period
provided for in the notice under section 363A.331, subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [363A.331] ACTIONS INVOLVING ARCHITECTURAL BARRIERS
THAT LIMIT ACCESSIBILITY.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this
section.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Accessibility requirements under law" means requirements governing
removal of architectural barriers that limit access to business establishments or public
accommodations by persons with disabilities under the following laws or rules:
new text end

new text begin (1) section 363A.11, subdivision 3, clause (4) or (5);
new text end

new text begin (2) United States Code, title 42, section 12182, paragraph (b), clause (2),
subparagraph (A), subclause (iv) or (v); or
new text end

new text begin (3) Code of Federal Regulations, title 28, section 36.304 or 36.305.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Certified professional" means a licensed, registered, or otherwise certified
professional with demonstrated knowledge of accessibility requirements under law.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Notice of architectural barrier. new text end

new text begin (a) A notice sent before filing a civil
action with the court by an attorney representing a person who alleges that a business
establishment or place of public accommodation has violated an accessibility requirement
under law must be dated and must:
new text end

new text begin (1) cite the law alleged to be violated;
new text end

new text begin (2) identify each architectural barrier that is the subject of an alleged violation
and specify its location on the premises;
new text end

new text begin (3) provide a reasonable time for a response, which may not be less than 30 days; and
new text end

new text begin (4) comply with subdivision 3.
new text end

new text begin (b) A notice described in paragraph (a) must not include a request or demand for
money or an offer or agreement to accept money, but may offer to engage in settlement
negotiations before litigation. If a notice is sent, a civil action may not be filed before
expiration of the period to respond provided in the notice.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Statutory short form; notice of architectural barrier. new text end

new text begin A notice of an
architectural barrier must be in the following, or a substantially similar, form:
new text end

new text begin "This notice is to advise you of a claim that [insert name of business establishment
or place of public accommodation] is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
and/or the Minnesota Human Rights Act for failure to remove one or more architectural
barriers limiting access to the premises by persons with disabilities.
new text end

new text begin Allegation of Violation
new text end

new text begin The undersigned attorney represents [insert client's name or organization], who
alleges that [insert name of business establishment or place of public accommodation] is
in violation of [insert citation of all statute(s) and rule(s) alleged to be violated] because
[insert client's name] attempted on [insert date(s)] to access [insert name of business
establishment or place of public accommodation] but was unable to or was deterred from
doing so due to the following architectural barrier or barriers limiting access by persons
with disabilities: [insert description of each architectural barrier that is the subject of the
alleged violation and its location on the premises].
new text end

new text begin Accessibility Audit
new text end

new text begin Licensed, registered, or otherwise certified professionals with knowledge of
the Americans with Disabilities Act and Minnesota Human Rights Act requirements
regarding physical barriers to access may be available to conduct an audit of your business
establishment or place of public accommodation to advise you regarding compliance with
the law. For more information, contact the Minnesota State Council on Disability at
1-800-945-8913 or visit MSCOD's Web site at http://www.disability.state.mn.us.
new text end

new text begin Response
new text end

new text begin Please contact, or have your attorney contact, the undersigned attorney no later than
[insert date by which response is required] to provide a response or if you would like to
engage in prelitigation settlement negotiations. Failure to respond to this notice may
result in a lawsuit being filed against you."
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Affirmative defense; challenging audit. new text end

new text begin (a) In a civil action brought
against a business establishment or place of public accommodation for violation of
accessibility requirements under law, the defendant has an affirmative defense to the
action if the defendant demonstrates that:
new text end

new text begin (1) the architectural barrier has been removed in a manner that complies with
accessibility requirements under law;
new text end

new text begin (2) compliance with the accessibility requirements under law is not readily
achievable or cannot be accomplished by alternative means; or
new text end

new text begin (3) the alleged architectural barrier does not violate accessibility requirements
under law.
new text end

new text begin (b) In a civil action brought against a business establishment or place of public
accommodation for violation of accessibility requirements under law a plaintiff
challenging a finding in an audit, performed by a certified professional, that an alleged
architectural barrier complies with accessibility requirements under law, or that compliance
is not readily achievable or alternative means cannot be employed, has the burden to show
that the architectural barrier does not comply with those accessibility requirements or that
compliance is readily achievable or can be accomplished by alternative means.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Exemptions. new text end

new text begin (a) Subdivisions 2 and 3 do not apply to:
new text end

new text begin (1) a person who is not represented by an attorney; or
new text end

new text begin (2) attorneys representing the state or a political subdivision of the state.
new text end

new text begin (b) This section does not bar a person from bringing an action if the person:
new text end

new text begin (1) is challenging a finding contained in an audit prepared by a certified professional;
new text end

new text begin (2) has a claim for damages resulting from an injury; or
new text end

new text begin (3) has filed charges pursuant to section 363A.28.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end