United States of America: Issued ruling clarifying websites are not considered public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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Description

Issued ruling clarifying websites are not considered public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

On 1 August 2022, the Court of Appeal of the State of California dismissed the complaint in the case Martinez v. Cot'n Wash, where the plaintiff claimed that company Cot'n Wash had intentionally violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Unruh Act) by maintaining a retail website that was inaccessible to the visually impaired. The plaintiff claimed that Cot'n Wash prevented the plaintiff from accessing the website by not implementing software compatible with screen reading. Under the Unruh Act, the plaintiff needed to demonstrate an intention to discriminate or a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodations. The Court found that there were no facts to establish discriminatory intent and that the company did not violate the ADA because a website is not considered a place of public accommodation. The plaintiff can now file a petition for review by the California Supreme Court.

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Scope

Policy Area
Other operating condition
Policy Instrument
Quality of service requirements
Regulated Economic Activity
platform intermediary: e-commerce
Implementation Level
national
Government Branch
judiciary
Government Body
court

Complete timeline of this policy change

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2022-08-01
in force

On 1 August 2022, the Court of Appeal of the State of California dismissed the complaint in the cas…