|HB 311 w/ HA 2||Committee||Griffith||This Act clarifies the scope and protections for individuals with disabilities under the Delaware Equal Accommodations Law (DEAL) and further aligns definitions and scope of DEAL with federal law protecting individuals with disabilities from discrimination by places of public accommodation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. This Act is consistent with the Superior Court's decision in Ray v. State Human Rels. Comm'n, 2021 Del. Super. LEXIS 668, which held that "[a]ny interpretation to suggest the legislature made a choice to narrow DEAL's protection ignores both the express mandates and comprehensive guidance under DEAL. It takes away the right of a protected class member to be heard. As interpreted, Delaware law would need to reject what has been universally accepted."
This alignment with federal law includes all of the following:
1. Using the same terms and definitions for those terms.
2. Clarifying that places of public accommodation must make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures, sometimes referred to as “reasonable accommodations”, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the program, business, or service.
3. Clarifying that a public accommodation must provide auxiliary aids and services, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the program, business, or service or be an undue burden.
4. Clarifying that places of public accommodation must remove physical barriers if doing so is readily achievable.
5. Clarifying that state investigations of complaints must apply the requirements under state law in a manner consistent with equivalent requirements under federal laws.
This Act also does all of the following
1. Clarifies that an individual does not have to use the exact terms in DEAL to request a reasonable modification or auxiliary aids and services for the request to be covered by DEAL.
2. Extends the time to file a complaint under DEAL to 1 year.
3. Allows the Commission to waive the cost of transcript, upon application by a party.
4. Makes corresponding changes to the requirement under § 10006A of Title 29 that a public body allow a member with a disability to use electronic means of communication to attend a meeting because "reasonable modification" is the term now used under § 4504 of Title 6. The term "reasonable accommodation" is retained because that is the term used under state and federal law in employment contexts, which might apply to a member of public body.
5. Makes technical corrections to clarify existing law and conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.||AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 AND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EQUAL ACCOMMODATIONS.|
|SCR 78||Passed||Lawson||This Senate Concurrent Resolution honors the Meals on Wheels program for providing invaluable and irreplaceable service to our aging population. Additionally, the Modern Maturity Center in Kent County is the program's backbone, delivering nutritious meals to seniors and individuals with disabilities at significant risk of hunger and isolation.||HONORING DELAWARE MEALS ON WHEELS FOR PROVIDING INVALUABLE AND IRREPLACEABLE SERVICES FOR OUR POPULATION|
|SCR 80||Passed||Lawson||This Concurrent Resolution recognizes March 29, 2022 as "National Vietnam War Veterans Day" in Delaware.||RECOGNIZING MARCH 29, 2022 AS "NATIONAL VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY” IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.|
|SCR 83||Passed||Gay||This resolution recognizes April 2 through 8, 2022 as “Week of the Young Child” in Delaware.||RECOGNIZING APRIL 2 THROUGH 9, 2022, AS "WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD" IN DELAWARE.|
|SCR 84||Passed||Bonini||This Resolution recognizes April 2022 as "Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month" in the State of Delaware.
||RECOGNIZING THE MONTH OF APRIL 2022 AS "PARKINSON'S DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH" IN THE STATE OF THE DELAWARE.|
|SCR 85||Passed||Richardson||This Resolution recognizes April 2022 as "Child Abuse Prevention Month" in the State of Delaware.||RECOGNIZING APRIL 2022 AS "CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH" IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.|
|HA 2 to HB 311||Passed||Griffith||This Amendment corrects a drafting error so that consistent with federal law, the exemption for religious organizations only applies to requirements to provide reasonable modifications for individuals with disabilities. This Amendment also aligns this exemption with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act by making religious organizations completely exempt from the requirement.
This Amendment also includes the change in House Amendment No. 1, revising the length of time to file a complaint under the Delaware Equal Accommodations Law so that instead of extending the deadline from the current 90 days to 1 year, a complaint must be filed no more than 180 days after the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory practice. The 180-day time limit is consistent with the time frames under federal law for filing administrative complaints based on discrimination with the Office of Civil Rights in both the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education. Maryland and New Jersey also provide 180 days to file a complaint under the state equal accommodations law.|| |
|HA 1 to HB 360||Passed||Longhurst||This Amendment expressly authorizes the Department of Finance to share information otherwise protected from disclosure pursuant to § 368 of Title 30 with other State agencies in order to carry out Section 2 of House Bill No. 360. The Amendment also ensures information shared with the Department will remain confidential. || |