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Author: Hans & Associates, P.C.
With the plethora of government regulations, restauranteurs caught up in the every day activities of running a restaurant hardly have time to stay apprised of new restaurant industry regulations. Even so, they must know about changing regulations and the impact on their business.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in December 2012 that "food allergies may constitute a disability under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA)." Previously in October 2009, the DOH received a complaint alleging that Leslie University had violated the ADA by not making modifications in its polices that would permit students with celiac disease and/or food allergies to enjoy the university's food service and meal plan program. The DOJ investigated and reviewed the complaint and subsequently formed an agreement with Lesley University in Cambridge. The university agreed to offer non-allergic food options to students with celiac disease and other food allergies.
Learning about this ruling, people in the restaurant industry became concerned how the ruling would affect their businesses. According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the DOJ indicated that under the ADA restaurants may have to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with food allergies as long as it did not fundamentally alter the restaurant's operation. The DOJ clarified that restaurants may have to answer questions about ingredients but not necessarily provide alternative options.
At Hans & Associates, we keep pace with regulatory changes and rulings that affect the restaurant industry. Our New York employment defense lawyers can help you stay up-to-date and assist you with compliance and regulatory issues.