Service Animals and the ADA!

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), a “service animal” is only a dog that is individually trained, works or performs tasks for individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disabilities. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.

It is important for the hospitality industry to understand what qualifies are a service animal under the ADA. The ADA does not recognize comfort animals, therapy animals, or companion animals. An animal whose sole function is to provide therapy is not a “service animal” under ADA.

How to verify?

In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

The ADA requires that service animals be under the control of the handler at all times. In most instances, the handler will be the individual with a disability or a third party who accompanies the individual with a disability. The service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while in public places unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the person’s disability prevents use of these devices. In that case, the person must use voice, signal, or other effective means to maintain control of the animal.

For example, a person who uses a wheelchair may use a long, retractable leash to allow her service animal to pick up or retrieve items. She may not allow the dog to wander away from her and must maintain control of the dog, even if it is retrieving an item at a distance from her. Or, a returning veteran who has PTSD and has great difficulty entering unfamiliar spaces may have a dog that is trained to enter a space, check to see that no threats are there, and come back and signal that it is safe to enter. The dog must be off leash to do its job, but may be leashed at other times. Under control also means that a service animal should not be allowed to bark repeatedly in a lecture hall, theater, library, or other quiet place. However, if a dog barks just once, or barks because someone has provoked it, this would not mean that the dog is out of control.

There are specific rules under the ADA that are tailored specifically to hoteliers and public service accommodations. Please contact us, your business law attorneys for more information. Staying informed helps limit ingenuine service animals and support and welcome your guests and comply with ADA.

Source: ADA

Post-Hurricane Scams Targeting Real Estate Owners!

ATTENTION all Real Estate Owners!

BEWARE OF SCAMMERS
There have been talks of some individuals attempting to take advantage of real estate owners post-hurricane recovery situations. Insurance, debris removal, and tree removal scammers are actively working in storm affected areas.

Do not sign anything regarding an “assignment of benefits” from a potential contractor.

If you have any questions regarding reviewing paperwork to be signed, please reach out to your Real Estate or Business Law Attorney.

 

#GulatiLaw

Conduct a Year End Clean-Up for Your Business

files

As the year end approaches, there are some important questions to ask yourself about your business. Where does your company currently stand financially? What do you plan to achieve in the upcoming year and next five years? In order to answer some of these important questions, the first thing to do, is conduct a year end clean-up for your business.

The first recommendation is to check all your contracts and agreements currently in place, and see if there are any amendments, updates, or law changes that need to be made in the document. If contract and/or agreements need to be updated and have not been done so already, this would be the perfect time to update them for the upcoming New Year.

Secondly, your corporate binders should be updated, as they include all the important legal documents that manage your business. The incorporation documents, the bylaws or operating agreements of your business, the policies and procedures, as well as the minutes from the meetings need to be updated on a bi-annual or annual basis to make sure they comply with the Florida Statutes and new laws in effect.

Another thing to clean up is your employee, independent contractor, and/ or vendor agreements, as they should comply with the current laws, should have a good standing effective date, and still be up to date. Many times when we are retained, we find our client’s agreements are outdated or non-compliant with Florida laws. Maintaining and updating your business paperwork can take a lot of time and effort; however it is a necessary step that needs to be done on a yearly basis, in order for you to run your business effectively and successfully!

If you have any questions about conducting a year end clean-up for your business, feel free to contact your Business Law Attorney today, we will be happy to assist you through this process!

 

Contact Us Today!

Gulati Law