Tuesday, August 11, 2020

New Law Alert - Emotional Support / Service Animal Anti-Discrimination Rights Codified

On August 11, 2020, NYS passed a law that clarifies "that reasonable accommodation to enable a person with a disability to use and enjoy a dwelling includes the use of an animal to alleviate the symptoms or effects of a disability."

This codification exists at Executive Law 296(2-a)(d)(2) and (18)(2) and explicitly states that refusing "to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be  necessary to afford a person with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, INCLUDING THE USE OF AN ANIMAL AS A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION TO ALLEVIATE SYMPTOMS OR EFFECTS OF A DISABILITY, AND including reasonable modification to common use portions of the dwelling."

This new law is effective immediately.

If you'd like to learn more about service animals, therapy animals, emotional support animals, comfort animals and discrimination lawsuits, read my article in the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation - The Intersection of Pet Policies and Anti-Discrimination Laws in Real Estate