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Cuts to Metro Program Could Violate Americans With Disabilities Act in New York

The Huffington Post reports that the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Access-A-Ride program could be facing budgetary cuts that could affect New York City’s efforts to satisfy the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Discrimination attorneys understand the importance of equal rights for people who are disabled. Nearly 54 million people have a disability, U.S. Census Bureau figures indicated in 2010. Unfortunately, discrimination based on disability is not uncommon. So, stand up for your rights.
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In New York City, Paratransit was established to satisfy the requirements of the act in 1990. The average Access-A-Ride trip costs $48 and people with disabilities pay $2.25 per ride. But the MTA has been redefining what it means to be disabled, moving people from unlimited to conditional “trip-to-trip” eligibility, the report states. Some changes include offering partial rides or service when temperatures are below 39 degrees or above 90.

The MTA is trying to reduce the number of rides by 26,000 per year. The New York City Transit claims that under new guidelines, 40 percent of people with disabilities can walk one to five blocks to a bus stop. The United Spinal Association has filed a lawsuit. While the MTA wants to cut millions of dollars in spending, it may come at the expense of disabled New Yorkers who are just trying to get around the city like everyone else.

The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to the employer/employee relationship as well. It prohibits discrimination against employees and job applicants whose impairment (mental or physical) limits their activity, or those who have a record of or are regarded as having such an impairment. The Act designates people as “qualifying” with disabilities. Qualified means the person has all the skills and experience to do the job, disability aside.

Last year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces the ADA, received 25,165 claims. The EEOC reported $76 million for the year won for those discriminated against, which includes back pay, hiring, attorney’s fees and other payments. EEOC intervention is often helpful, but not necessary to file a lawsuit in state or federal court.

Sometimes, discrimination is obvious and other times it is subtle. But an experienced law firm that has handled Long Island disability law for decades can be counted on to sort out the differences and whether or not the ADA has been violated. New York discrimination laws can be complex and sound advice is needed.

If you need to speak with a disability discrimination attorney in Great Neck, contact attorney Ira S. Newman at 516-487-7375 for a free consultation