Is it legal for an employer to charge 'extra' for disabled parking spots in the same lots and garages as regular employee parking? This is a large employer (>3000 employees) located in PA, and owns the parking lots & garages. All employees pay the same flat monthly rate, except for the disabled spots in the same lot, for which they charge an extra 22% over the non-disabled spaces monthly. It doesn't seem legal that an employer would be allowed to charge extra for a disabled parking space, some as close as 3 feet from non-disabled parking spaces. Please advise. Thanks.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Generally an employer must provide an accommodation to a disabled employee in the performance of the employee's duties. Providing parking spaces to employees is not part of the accommodations that must be made under the employment section of the law. Rather the public facilities section of the law is where the guidance comes in with regard to parking spaces. Generally a parking facility is a public facility and must provide access to that facility on a non-discriminatory basis. That means not only providing designated spots for handicap placarded parking but also charging the same rate as the non-handicap placarded spaces. Even if the facility charges a hierarchical fee for better parking spaces the handicap spaces should still be charged at the lowest applicable rate. Certainly not more than a space right next to that spot.
There is a potential claim here under the ADA. But let me make this clear, you cannot depend on this analysis because you have not provided enough facts to make a clear case one way or the other. I would be happy to take a closer look at the matter and the original poster should contact me if they would like to proceed.