DJ 202-PL-00048 MAY 12 1992

Ms. Cheryl L. Villaume, Law Clerk Goldman, Marshall & Muszynski, P.C. 1515 Market Street, Suite 500 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102 Dear Ms. Villaume: This letter responds to your correspondence requesting clarification of the provisions of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. S12101-12213. Specificality you inquired whether the exemption for religious organizations, section 307, includes church owned or funded hospitals. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights and obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation and it is not binding on the Department. 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, that is, a religious organization or a private entity controlled by a religious organization. A private hospital controlled by a religious organization is exempt from title III requirements. A useful discussion of the scope of title III's exemption for religious entities can be found in the Preamble to the Attorney General's Title III regulations. See 56 Fed. Reg. 35544, 35554 (July 26, 1991). A copy is enclosed. 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

cc: Records Chrono Wodatch Magagna Beard.ta.307.villaume FOIA

01-00782

-2hospitals do, it is subject to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. S 794, which prohibits disability discrimination in federally assisted programs. We hope that this information is useful to you in evaluating your rights and obligations under the ADA.

Sincerely,

Joan A. Magagna Deputy Director Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act

Enclosure

LAW OFFICES GOLDMAN, MARSHALL & MUSZYNSKI, P.C. 1515 MARKET STREET SUITE 500 C. MITCHELL GOLDMAN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA 19102 WASHINGTON OFFICE: JOSEPH W. MARSHALL, III (215) 563-5800 ONE MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE NW IRVIN L. MUSZYNSKI, JR SUITE 860 ROBERT A. AUCLAIR FAX (215) 563-4500 R. CHRISTOPHER RAPHAELY WASHINGTON, DC 20001 MICHAEL E. ANDERSON (202) 682-0126 FAX (202) 682-0136 ALSO MEMBER OF D.C. AND N.J. BAR MEMBER OF VA AND D.C. ONLY ALSO MEMBER OF N.J. BAR

February 21, 1992

Chief Counsel

Department of Justice Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act Civil Rights Division P.O. Box 66118 Washington, D.C. 20035 - 6118

On February 21, 1992, I spoke with one of your representatives on the "ADA" information line (at 202-514-0301 *5). I was calling to find out if the religious exemption of the Americans with Disabilities Act (S 307) applies to church owned (funded) hospitals and, if so, to what extent it does apply. The representative on the line informed me that it does apply as long as the hospital is controlled/funded by the religious organization. I would like to confirm this. The Act itself and the legislative history behind it do not offer a concise answer to the question. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. It is appreciated. Very truly yours,

Cheryl L. Villaume Law Clerk cc: Bob Auclair