The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 9: Commerce and Trade

Chapter 139: DISCRIMINATION; PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS; RENTAL AND SALE OF REAL ESTATE

9 V.S.A. § 4501. Definitions



§ 4501. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Place of public accommodation" means any school, restaurant, store, establishment or other facility at which services, facilities, goods, privileges, advantages, benefits or accommodations are offered to the general public.

(2) "Handicap" or "disability," with respect to an individual, means:

(A) a physical or mental impairment which limits one or more major life activities;

(B) a history or record of such an impairment; or

(C) being regarded as having such an impairment.

(3) "Physical or mental impairment" means:

(A) any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; or endocrine;

(B) any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities;

(C) The term "physical or mental impairment" includes but is not limited to such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, and drug addiction and alcoholism. A handicapped individual does not include any individual who is an alcoholic or drug abuser who, by reason of current alcohol or drug use, constitutes a direct threat to property or safety of others.

(4) "Owner" includes any person having a legal or beneficial interest in real estate which gives him or her the right to possession thereof.

(5) "Dwelling" means any building, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.

(6) "Public assistance" includes any assistance provided by federal, state or local government, including medical and housing assistance.

(7) "Auxiliary aids and services" mean the following:

(A) Qualified interpreters, notetakers, computer-aided transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening devices and systems, hearing aid compatible telephones, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning telecommunications devices for deaf persons, videotext displays or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments.

(B) Qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Braille materials, large print materials or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments.

(C) Modification of equipment or devices.

(D) Other similar services and actions.

(8) "Public accommodation" means an individual, organization, governmental or other entity that owns, leases, leases to or operates a place of public accommodation.

(9) "Readily achievable" means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. In determining whether an action is readily achievable, the factors considered in determining whether an action is an undue burden pursuant to subsection (10) of this section apply.

(10) "Undue burden" means significant difficulty or expense. In determining whether an action would result in an undue burden, the following factors shall be considered:

(A) The nature and cost of the action needed.

(B) The overall financial resources of the site or sites involved in the action; the number of persons employed at the site; the effect on expenses and resources; legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation, including crime prevention measures, or any other impact of the action on the operation of the site.

(C) The geographic separateness and the administrative or fiscal relationship of the site or sites in question to any parent corporation or entity.

(D) If applicable, the overall financial resources of any parent corporation or entity; the overall size of the parent corporation or entity with respect to the number of its employees; and the number, type and location of its facilities.

(E) If applicable, the type of operation or operations of any parent corporation or entity, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce of the parent corporation or entity. (Added 1987, No. 74, § 1; amended 1987, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1989, No. 89, § 1; 1991, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2.)