Daily Archives: December 23, 2017

DOJ Nixes All Pending ADA Rulemakings, Including Website Access Rules

By: Minh N. Vu

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Justice Department withdraws pending rulemakings for accessible websites, furniture and non-fixed equipment.
The current Department of Justice’s (DOJ) regulatory approach to Title III of the ADA is yet another example of what a difference an election can make.

In 2010, the DOJ started the rulemaking process to issue new regulations about the websites of public accommodations and state and local governments, as well as non-fixed equipment and furniture used in public accommodations. In July of this year, the DOJ placed these rulemakings on the “inactive list”. On December 26, 2017, these rulemakings will officially be withdrawn.

On the web access rules, the DOJ stated that it is “evaluating whether promulgating regulations about the accessibility of Web information and services is necessary and appropriate. Such an evaluation will be informed by additional review of data and further analysis. The Department will continue to assess whether specific technical standards are necessary and appropriate to assist covered entities with complying with the ADA.” This is an unfortunate development for the disability community and covered businesses alike. Instead of having clear rules to follow, businesses will have to look to the constantly evolving patchwork of decisions coming out of the courts for guidance. Meanwhile, the number of website accessibility lawsuits continues to surge as businesses scramble to make their websites accessible.

With regard to the withdrawal of the rulemaking about non-fixed equipment and furniture, DOJ said that it is “reevaluating whether regulation of the accessibility of non-fixed equipment and furniture is necessary and appropriate.” We see far less litigation on this topic although advocacy groups may feel the need to press the litigation agenda more aggressively now that no rules are forthcoming. Businesses are, for the most part, better off without these rules but they need to remember that the absence of technical standards does not necessarily mean there are no obligations under the ADA with regard to these items. Title III of the ADA contains a general non-discrimination mandate and more general rules that still require a public accommodation to ensure access to all its goods, services and benefits, subject to certain defenses.

This latest development just confirms what we predicted would happen during this administration, albeit with more finality than we had anticipated.

Edited by Kristina M. Launey

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Leading event riders suspended after testing positive for banned stimulants

US riders positive dope tests
Hannah Sue and Harbour Pilot at the trot-up at Badminton this year. Picture by Peter Nixon

Three top US event riders have been provisionally suspended from international competition after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

The three riders — Hannah Sue Burnett, Jennie Brannigan and Alyssa Phillips — were all tested at the Ocala Jockey Club International in Florida (16-20 November), where Hannah Sue won the CIC3*. All three recorded a positive result for the prohibited substance amfetamine, with Alyssa also testing positive for canrenone and Jennie for methylphenidate and ritalinic acid.

Amfetamine and methylphenidate are listed in the stimulants category of the WADA 2017 prohibited list, as is phenethylamine and its derivatives, which include ritalinic acid. Canrenone is included in the diuretics and masking agents category. 

“The FEI has announced three adverse analytical findings under the FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA), which are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code,” said an FEI statement.

“In accordance with the WADA Code, the FEI has notified WADA and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of the positives.

“The athletes have been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (21 December) until the FEI Tribunal renders a decision, but can request the lifting of the provisional suspension and ask for testing of the B sample within the next 21 days.”

The FEI Tribunal will also decide whether the riders’ placings at the event stand and what happens to their prize-money. As well as Hannah Sue’s win in the top class, Alyssa finished seventh in the CCI* on Cooley Caviar and sixth in the CCI2* on Oskar.

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A statement from the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) confirmed the riders are also provisionally suspended from USEF-sanctioned activities.

“Contrary to speculation, cocaine was not detected in any samples taken at the event,” added the USEF statement — presumably referring to a recent piece on a Canadian website which suggested unnamed event riders had tested positive for cocaine.

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