§ 5-71-16. Relationship to other civil rights laws.
(a) This chapter does not limit or qualify the rights of employees with disabilities nor consumers, including, but not limited to, interpreter services, or the duties of providers to provide accommodations, auxiliary aids, or services, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12201, et seq., 29 U.S.C. § 794, R.I. Const. Art. I, Sec. II; chapter 87 of title 42; chapter 24 of title 11; chapter 5 of title 28; § 42-46-13; § 8-5-8; § 9-9-1.2; or other applicable federal or state law.
(b) The obligations of these cited federal or state civil rights laws include, but are not limited to:
(1) A state and local governmental agency's taking appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, employees, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. State and local governmental agencies shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of a service, program, or activity conducted by a state or local governmental agency and shall include the use of certified deaf interpreters in legal proceedings. In determining what type of auxiliary aid or service is necessary, a state or local governmental agency shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual;
(2) A public accommodation taking those steps that may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated, or treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, unless the public accommodations can demonstrate that taking those steps would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered or would result in an undue burden, i.e., significant difficulty or expense. A public accommodation shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities; and
(3) An employer and/or employment agency making reasonable accommodations, including the provision of interpreters, for their employees with disabilities where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities.
(P.L. 1996, ch. 151, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 164, § 2; P.L. 2015, ch. 188, § 2.)