Justice Department Reaches Americans with Disabilities Act Settlement with H&R Block

H&R Block was sued by the Department of Justice for not providing assisted listening devices or interpreters for their tax preparation classes.

As we have been advising businesses, it has been coming. For your information (at least in California) Business Occupancy type B counts as an Assembly Area (type A) if there are 50 or greater people for the occupancy of that room.

This bodes strongly for hotels with conference rooms and restaurants which have performance areas, gyms, theaters and stadiums (among other types). Under the ADA (and the CBC) there must be provisions for providing either assisted listening devices or an interpreter. You can read the text below from the Department of Justice Briefing.

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with HRB Tax Group Inc., H&R Block Tax Services LLC and HRB Advance LLC (H&R Block) to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the provision of income tax preparation services and courses at more than 11,000 owned and franchised offices nationwide.

The settlement agreement, which resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual who is deaf, requires, among other things, that H&R Block furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including sign language interpreter services, when necessary to afford a person who is deaf or hard of hearing equal access to the goods, services and accommodations made available to others.

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This can strongly affects your site or (if you are hosting an event) your liability in choosing a site to rent. Don’t let yourself get caught unprepared. Braille Brochures and Braille handouts are readily achievable with today’s advanced printing technology. Restaurants also should provide Braille brochures.

For more information on how this will affect your site, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. Inquiries are welcome.

105 Replies to “Justice Department Reaches Americans with Disabilities Act Settlement with H&R Block”

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