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2013 Minnesota Statutes

363A.11 PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.

Subdivision 1.Full and equal enjoyment of public accommodations.

(a) It is an unfair discriminatory practice:

(1) to deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation because of race, color, creed, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or sex, or for a taxicab company to discriminate in the access to, full utilization of, or benefit from service because of a person's disability; or

(2) for a place of public accommodation not to make reasonable accommodation to the known physical, sensory, or mental disability of a disabled person. In determining whether an accommodation is reasonable, the factors to be considered may include:

(i) the frequency and predictability with which members of the public will be served by the accommodation at that location;

(ii) the size of the business or organization at that location with respect to physical size, annual gross revenues, and the number of employees;

(iii) the extent to which disabled persons will be further served from the accommodation;

(iv) the type of operation;

(v) the nature and amount of both direct costs and legitimate indirect costs of making the accommodation and the reasonableness for that location to finance the accommodation; and

(vi) the extent to which any persons may be adversely affected by the accommodation.

(b) State or local building codes control where applicable. Violations of state or local building codes are not violations of this chapter and must be enforced under normal building code procedures.

Subd. 2.General prohibitions.

This subdivision lists general prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of disability. For purposes of this subdivision, "individual" or "class of individuals" refers to the clients or customers of the covered public accommodation that enter into the contractual, licensing, or other arrangement.

(1) It is discriminatory to:

(i) subject an individual or class of individuals on the basis of a disability of that individual or class, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, to a denial of the opportunity of the individual or class to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of an entity;

(ii) afford an individual or class of individuals on the basis of the disability of that individual or class, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, with the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations that are not equal to those afforded to other individuals; and

(iii) provide an individual or class of individuals, on the basis of a disability of that individual or class, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, with goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations that are different or separate from those provided to other individuals, unless the action is necessary to provide the individual or class of individuals with goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, or other opportunities that are as effective as those provided to others.

(2) Goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations must be afforded to an individual with a disability in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual.

(3) Notwithstanding the existence of separate or different programs or activities provided in accordance with sections 363A.08 to 363A.19, and 363A.28, subdivision 10, the individual with a disability may not be denied the opportunity to participate in the programs or activities that are not separate or different.

(4) An individual or entity may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, use standards or criteria and methods of administration:

(i) that have the effect of discriminating on the basis of disability; or

(ii) that perpetuate the discrimination of others who are subject to common administrative control.

Subd. 3.Specific prohibitions.

This subdivision lists specific prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of disability. For purposes of this subdivision, discrimination includes:

(1) the imposition or application of eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless the criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations;

(2) failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to afford the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations;

(3) failure to take all necessary steps to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated, or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, unless the entity can demonstrate that taking the steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered and would result in an undue burden;

(4) failure to remove architectural barriers, and communication barriers that are structural in nature, in existing facilities, and transportation barriers in existing vehicles used by an establishment for transporting individuals, not including barriers that can only be removed through the retrofitting of vehicles by the installation of hydraulic or other lifts, if the removal is readily achievable; and

(5) if an entity can demonstrate that the removal of a barrier under clause (4) is not readily achievable or cannot be considered a reasonable accommodation, a failure to make the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations available through alternative means if the means are readily achievable.

Subd. 4.Direct threat to health and safety.

Nothing in this chapter requires an entity to permit an individual to participate in and benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of the entity if the individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. "Direct threat" means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services.

Subd. 5.Private entity providing public transportation.

No individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of specified public transportation services provided by a private entity that is primarily engaged in the business of transporting people and whose operations affect commerce. For purposes of this subdivision, it is an unfair discriminatory practice for a private entity providing public transportation to engage in one or more of the following practices:

(1) imposition or application of eligibility criteria that screen out, or tend to screen out, an individual with a disability or a class of individuals with disabilities from fully enjoying the specified public transportation services provided by the entity, unless the criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the services being offered;

(2) failure to make reasonable modifications, provide auxiliary aids and services, and remove barriers, consistent with section 363A.11, subdivision 3;

(3) the purchase or lease of a new vehicle, other than an automobile or van with a seating capacity of fewer than eight passengers, including the driver, or an over-the-road bus, that is to be used to provide specified public transportation that is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, except that a new vehicle need not be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities if the vehicle is to be used solely in a demand responsive system and if the private entity can demonstrate that the system, when viewed in its entirety, provides a level of services to individuals with disabilities equivalent to the level of service provided to the general public;

(4) purchase or lease a new railroad passenger car that is to be used to provide specified public transportation if the car is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, or to manufacture railroad passenger cars or purchase used cars that have been remanufactured so as to extend their usable life by ten years or more, unless the remanufactured car, to the maximum extent feasible, is made readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, except that compliance with this clause is not required to the extent that compliance would significantly alter the historic or antiquated character of historic or antiquated railroad passenger cars or rail stations served exclusively by those cars;

(5) purchase or lease a new, used, or remanufactured vehicle with a seating capacity in excess of 16 passengers, including the driver, for use on a fixed route public transportation system, that is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. If a private entity that operates a fixed route public transportation system purchases or leases a new, used, or remanufactured vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 passengers or fewer, including the driver, for use on the system which is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, it is an unfair discriminatory practice for the entity to fail to operate the system so that, when viewed in its entirety, the system ensures a level of service to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, equivalent to the level of service provided to individuals without disabilities; or

(6) to fail to operate a demand responsive system so that, when viewed in its entirety, the system ensures a level of service to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, equivalent to the level of service provided to individuals without disabilities. It is an unfair discriminatory practice for the entity to purchase or lease for use on a demand responsive system a new, used, or remanufactured vehicle with a seating capacity in excess of 16 passengers, including the driver, that is not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, unless the entity can demonstrate that the system, when viewed in its entirety, provides a level of service to individuals with disabilities equivalent to that provided to individuals without disabilities.

Subd. 6.Construction of new facility or station; accessibility.

It is an unfair discriminatory practice to construct a new facility or station to be used in the provision of public transportation services, unless the facilities or stations are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. It is an unfair discriminatory practice for a facility or station currently used for the provision of public transportation services defined in this section to fail to make alterations necessary in order, to the maximum extent feasible, to make the altered portions of facilities or stations readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. If the private entity is undertaking an alteration that affects or could affect the usability of or access to an area of the facility containing a primary function, the entity shall make the alterations so that, to the maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to the altered area, and the bathrooms, drinking fountains, and telephones serving the altered area, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities if the alterations to the path of travel or to the functions mentioned are not disproportionate to the overall alterations in terms of cost and scope. The entity raising this defense has the burden of proof, and the department shall review these cases on a case-by-case basis.

NOTE: Any statutory exemptions to this section are covered under section 363A.24.

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