House Bill 354
149th General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EQUAL ACCOMMODATIONS.
This Act makes the Delaware equal accommodation law internally consistent, correctly organized, and aligned with the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). This Act corrects the potential for confusion in Chapter 45 of Title 6 in the following ways: 1. The current law states that the purpose of Chapter 45 is to prohibit discrimination based upon physical disability but Chapter 45 actually prohibits discrimination against individuals with physical or mental disabilities. This Act corrects the purpose language in § 4501 of Title 6 by changing the term "physical disability" to "disability" so that it accurately states the scope of the protection provided by of Chapter 45. 2. The current law uses the term "support animal" while the ADA and other states use the term "service animal." This Act replaces the term "support animal" with "service animal" to use the same term as the ADA. 3. The current law defines "support animal" as assisting only individuals with physical disabilities and does not address service animals that assist individuals with nonphysical disabilities, even though Chapter 45 prohibits discrimination against individuals with physical or mental impairments. This Act uses the ADA definition of service animal, which requires that the dog be trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. 4. The current law places the prohibition against discriminating against an individual with a support animal in the definition section rather than in the prohibited practices section. This Act moves the requirement that a service animal be permitted to accompany an individual with a disability in public places from the definition of disability to the statute that lists unlawful practices. With these corrections, this Act restructures and corrects the language in Chapter 45 of Title 6 so that it is consistent with the ADA and clear that an individual with any disability, including an individual with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other psychiatric, intellectual, or mental disability, may be accompanied by a service animal in a public place. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.