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DJ 192-180-04156

APR 9 1992

The Honorable Dennis DeConcini United States Senate 328 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-6025

Dear Senator DeConcini:

This is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, Al Tarcola, concerning the religious exemption

contained in section 307 of the Americans with Disabilities Act

of 1990, Pub. L. 101-336. At issue is how the exemption applies

to hospitals operated by religious orders.

Title III of the ADA establishes requirements for private

entities that own, operate, lease (or lease to) places of public accommodation such as hospitals. A private entity has no title

III obligations, however, if it is a religious entity. A

religious entity is a religious organization or a private entity controlled by a religious organization.

A religious entity, however, is not exempt from the employment requirements of title I of the ADA, which go into effect on July 26, 1992, for hospitals with 25 or more employees. Moreover, if a religious entity receives Federal funds, as most hospitals do, it is subject to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. S794, which prohibits disability discrimination in federally assisted programs.

I hope that you find this information useful in responding to your constituent.


John R. Dunne Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division

cc: Records; Chrono; Wodatch; Deputy; Beard; McDowney.



January 24, 1991

Rosalie Lopez, Legislative Aide c/o Senator DeConcini 2424 East Broadway Suite 104 Tucson, Arizona 85719-6011

RE: Inquiry of An Issue In The American Disability Act

Dear Ms. Lopez:

As a followup to our phone conversation on January 23, 1992 with you in the Senator's Washington, D.C. office, this letter is being sent to the Senator's local office in Tucson and then transmitted to you in Washington, D.C.

As noted in our conversation, I have placed 15 phone calls trying to ascertain an answer to a question related to the fact that religious organizations and entities controlled by religious Foundation organizations have no obligation under the American Disabilities Act. My inquiries started on January 8, 1992 via the Arizona office of ADA who directed me to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board in Washington, D.C. [1- 800-USA-ABLE] who in turn directed me the Department of Justice. All of the calls to the Department of Justice [202-514-0301] never went beyond a recording which directed me to hold until

someone came on the line which also never occurred. It was on January 17, 1992 that I contacted the Senator's office for assistance in this matter.

Page 35554 of the Federal Registration//Volume 56, No. 144/Friday, July 26, 1991/Rules and Regulations addresses to and speaks of religious organizations and/or religious entities having no obligations under the ADA. Carondelet Health Care operates a number of hospitals and related medical facilities in Southern Arizona. Both the Corporation and the hospitals are a part of the Sisters of St. Joseph's of Carondelet. With this affiliation, would we in fact be exempt or not obligated under the Rules and Regulations of the ADA?

The purpose of clarifying this point is if we are indeed not obligated under the Rules and Regulations of the ADA we would then have an opportunity to allocate our resources over a longer period of time if need be to accomplish many of the good aspects of the ADA. There is no question that the ADA requirements will place a significant financial burden on hospitals and other institutions at a time when we can least


afford it. We have in the past both committed and utilized resources to accommodate access to our facilities for those who are less fortunate with respect to their ability to move about as easily as those of us who have normal mobility and who are not disabled and handicapped.

Thank you very much for your time, consideration and a timely response to my question above and/or a source from whom I can acquire a definitive answer.


Al Tarcola Corporate Administrative Director of Facilities