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Maine

Consolidated Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: ME ST T. 17 1311 - 1316; ME ST T. 26 1420-A - 1420-C; ME ST T. 7 3961-A; ME ST T. 5 4551 - 4555

Citation: 17 M. R. S. A. 1311 - 1316, 26 M. R. S. A. 1420-A - 1420-C; 7 M. R. S. A. 3961-A; 5 M. R. S. A. 4551 - 4555


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:  

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.



Statute in Full:

Link to Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. Chapter 729. Damage by Animals. § 3961-A. Attack on service dog

Link to Title 7. Agriculture and Animals. Part 9. Animal Welfare. § 3922. Issuance of license (service dog exemption).

Maine Revised Statutes Annotated. Title 17. Crimes. Chapter 47. Discrimination. Subchapter 2. Model White Cane Law.

§ 1311. Policy

§ 1312. Rights

§ 1313. Motor vehicle drivers

§ 1314. Penalties

§ 1314-A. Misrepresentation of service dog

§ 1315. Proclamation

§ 1316. Employment

Title 26. Labor and Industry. Chapter 19. Department of Labor. Subchapter 2. Rehabilitation Services. Article 8. Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Persons. Subarticle 2. Rights of Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Persons.

§ 1420-A. Rights

§ 1420-B. Motor vehicle drivers

 1420-C. Penalty

Title 5. Administrative Procedures and Services. Part 12. Human Rights. Chapter 337. Human Rights Act. Subchapter 1. General Provisions

§ 4551. Title

§ 4552. Policy

§ 4553. Definitions

§ 4553-A. Physical or mental disability

§ 4554. Construction

§ 4555. Application

 

 

Title 17. Crimes. Chapter 47. Discrimination. Subchapter 2. Model White Cane Law

§ 1311. Policy

It is the policy of this State to encourage and enable the blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of the State and to engage in remunerative employment.

CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 58, § 1.

 

§ 1312. Rights

1. Streets and public places. The blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled have the same right as the able-bodied to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities and other public places.

2. Public conveyances. The blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, street cars, boats or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation, hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

3. Service dogs. Every totally or partially blind or otherwise physically or mentally disabled person has the right to be accompanied by a service dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in subsection 2 without being required to pay an extra charge for the service dog; however, the person is liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such a dog.

4. Especially trained service dog trainer; access to public facilities; responsibilities. An especially trained service dog trainer, while engaged in the actual training process and activities of service dogs, has the same rights, privileges and responsibilities described in this section with respect to access to and use of public facilities as are applicable to a blind, visually handicapped or otherwise physically or mentally disabled person.

5. Housing accommodations; persons with service dogs. Every blind or visually handicapped or otherwise physically or mentally disabled individual who has a service animal, such as a service dog, is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section. Blind or visually impaired or otherwise physically or mentally disabled individuals may not be required to pay extra compensation to keep service animals. A blind or visually impaired or otherwise physically or mentally disabled person is liable for any damages done to the premises by the service animal.

6. Housing accommodations; definitions. “Housing accommodations,” as used in this section, means any real property, or portion of real property, which is used or occupied, or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings, including, but not limited to, public housing projects and all forms of publicly assisted housing, single and multifamily rental and sale units, lodging places, condominiums and cooperative apartments. “Housing accommodations” does not include:

A. The rental of a housing accommodation in a building which contains housing accommodations for not more than 2 families living independently of each other, if the owner or members of the owner's family reside in that housing accommodation; or

B. The rental of a room or rooms in a housing accommodation, if the rental is by the occupant of the housing accommodation or by the owner of the housing accommodation and the owner or members of the owner's family reside in that housing accommodation.

7. Service dog; definition. As used in this section, “service dog” means a dog that meets the definition of “service animal” in Title 5, section 4553, subsection 9-E, paragraph B.

CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 58, § 1; 1981, c. 584, § 1; 1987, c. 104, § 1; 1997, c. 611, §§ 1 to 4; 2007, c. 664, §§ 17 to 20; 2011, c. 369, § 6.

 

§ 1313. Motor vehicle drivers

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind or otherwise physically disabled pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color, with or without a red tip, or using a service dog as defined in section 1312, subsection 7 shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to that blind or otherwise physically disabled pedestrian, and any driver who fails to take such precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused the pedestrian. A totally or partially blind or otherwise physically disabled pedestrian, not carrying such a cane or using a service dog in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances listed in section 1312, has all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons, and the failure of a totally or partially blind or otherwise physically disabled pedestrian to carry such a cane or to use a service dog in any such places, accommodations or conveyances may not be held to constitute nor be evidence of contributory negligence.

CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 58, § 1; 1997, c. 611, § 5; 2007, c. 664, § 21; 2011, c. 369, § 7.

 

§ 1314. Penalties

1. Public facilities; other rights. A person, firm or corporation or the agent of a person, firm or corporation may not:

A. Deny or interfere with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities described in section 1312; or

B. Otherwise interfere with the rights of a person who is totally or partially blind or a person with other disabilities under section 1312.

2. Penalty. Violation of this section is a Class E crime. Violation of this section is a strict liability crime as defined in Title 17-A, section 34, subsection 4-A.

CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 58, § 1; 1981, c. 584, § 2; 2003, c. 452, § I-27, eff. July 1, 2004.

 

§ 1314-A. Misrepresentation of guide dog

A person who fits a dog with a harness, collar, vest or sign of the type commonly used by blind persons in order to represent that the dog is a service dog or commonly used by persons with disabilities to represent that the dog is a service dog when training of the type that guide dogs normally receive has not been provided or when the dog does not meet the definition of “service dog” as defined in section 1312, subsection 7 commits a civil violation for which a fine of not more than $500 may be adjudged.

CREDIT(S)

2003, c. 452, § I-28, eff. July 1, 2004; 2007, c. 664, § 22; 2011, c. 369, § 8.

 

§ 1315. Proclamation

Each year, the Governor shall take suitable public notice of October 15th as White Cane Safety Day.

He shall issue a proclamation in which:

1. Significance. He comments upon the significance of the white cane;

2. Observance. He calls upon the citizens of the State to observe the provisions of the White Cane Law and to take precautions necessary to the safety of the disabled;

3. Cooperation. He reminds the citizens of the State of the policies with respect to the disabled declared in sections 1311 to 1314 and urges the citizens to cooperate in giving effect to them;

4. Assistance. He emphasizes the need of the citizens to be aware of the presence of disabled persons in the community, and to keep safe and functional for the disabled the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, other public places, places of public accommodation, amusement and resort, and other places to which the public is invited, and to offer assistance to disabled persons upon appropriate occasions.

CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 58, § 1.

 

§ 1316. Employment

It is the policy of this State that the blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled shall be employed in the state service, the service of the political subdivisions of the State, in the public schools and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as the able-bodied, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.

CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 58, § 1.

 

Title 26. Labor and Industry. Chapter 19. Department of Labor. Subchapter 2. Rehabilitation Services. Article 8. Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Persons. Subarticle 2. Rights of Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Persons.

§ 1420-A. Rights

The rights, established by this subarticle, of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons are as follows.

1. Streets and public places. Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons have the same rights as able-bodied persons to the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities and other public places.

2. Public conveyances. Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, street cars, boats or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation, hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation or amusement, or resorts and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

3. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 664, § 24.

4. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 664, § 25.

5. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 664, § 26.

6. Housing accommodations; defined. “Housing accommodations,” as used in this section, means a real property, or portion of real property, that is used or occupied, or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings, including, but not limited to, public housing projects and all forms of publicly assisted housing, single-family and multifamily rental and sale units, lodging places, condominiums and cooperative apartments. “Housing accommodations” does not include:

A. The rental of a housing accommodation in a building that contains housing accommodations for not more than 2 families living independently of each other, if the owner or members of the owner's family reside in that housing accommodation; or
B.The rental of a room or rooms in a housing accommodation, if the rental is by the occupant of the housing accommodation or by the owner of the housing accommodation and the owner or members of the owner's family reside in that housing accommodation.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 560, § F-13, eff. March 25, 1996; 2003, c. 414, § B-39; 2007, c. 664, §§ 24 to 26.

 

§ 1420-B. Motor vehicle drivers

The driver of a vehicle approaching a deaf or hard-of-hearing person using a properly identified guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to that person and the guide dog. A driver who fails to take such precautions is liable in damages for any injury caused to that person or dog. A deaf or hard-of-hearing person not using a guide dog in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances listed in section 1420-A has all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons. The failure of a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to use a guide dog in those places, accommodations or conveyances does not constitute nor is it evidence of contributory negligence.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 560, § F-13, eff. March 25, 1996.

 

1420-C. Penalty

1. Interference with admittance or enjoyment; rights. A person or the person's agent may not:

A. Deny or interfere with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities described in section 1420-A; or

B. Otherwise interfere with the rights of a deaf or hard-of-hearing person under section 1420-A.

2. Penalty. Violation of this section is a Class E crime. Violation of this section is a strict liability crime as defined in Title 17-A, section 34, subsection 4-A.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 560, § F-13, eff. March 25, 1996; 2003, c. 452, § O-6, eff. July 1, 2004.

 

Title 5. Administrative Procedures and Services. Part 12. Human Rights. Chapter 337. Human Rights Act. Subchapter 1. General Provisions.

§ 4551. Title

 This Act may be known and cited as the Maine Human Rights Act.

CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 501, § 1, eff. July 1, 1972.


§ 4552. Policy

To protect the public health, safety and welfare, it is declared to be the policy of this State to keep continually in review all practices infringing on the basic human right to a life with dignity, and the causes of these practices, so that corrective measures may, where possible, be promptly recommended and implemented, and to prevent discrimination in employment, housing or access to public accommodations on account of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin; and in employment, discrimination on account of age or because of the previous assertion of a claim or right under former Title 39 or Title 39-A and in housing because of familial status; and to prevent discrimination in the extension of credit on account of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, ancestry or national origin; and to prevent discrimination in education on account of sex, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.

CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 501, § 1, eff. July 1, 1972; 1973, c. 347, § 1; 1973, c. 705, § 1; 1975, c. 355, § 1; 1975, c. 358, § 1; 1975, c. 770, § 28; 1987, c. 478, § 1; 1989, c. 245, § 1, eff. June 6, 1989; 1991, c. 99, § 1; 1993, c. 327, § 1; 2005, c. 10, § 1.

 

§ 4553. Definitions

As used in this Act, unless the context or subchapter otherwise indicates, the following words have the following meanings.


1. Commission. “Commission” means the Maine Human Rights Commission established by this Act.


1-A. Commercial facilities. “Commercial facilities” means facilities that are intended for nonresidential use.


1-B. Covered entity. For purposes of subchapter III, [FN1] “covered entity” means an employer, employment agency, labor organization or joint labor-management committee. For purposes of subchapter V, [FN2] “covered entity” means any applicable private entity or public entity.


1-C. Direct threat. For purposes of subchapter III, “direct threat” means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that can not be eliminated by reasonable accommodation.


1-D. Aggrieved person. “Aggrieved person” includes any person who claims to have been subject to unlawful discrimination. “Aggrieved person” also includes any person who claims to have been injured by unlawful housing discrimination.


1-E. Complainant. “Complainant” means a person who files a complaint under section 4611 or a civil action under section 4621.


1-F. Conciliation. “Conciliation” means the attempted resolution of issues raised by a complaint filed under section 4611 or by an investigation of such a complaint through informal negotiations involving the complainant, the respondent and the commission.


1-G. Conciliation agreement. “Conciliation agreement” means a written agreement setting forth the resolution of the issues in conciliation.


2. Discriminate. “Discriminate” includes, without limitation, segregate or separate.


For purposes of subchapter III, “discriminate” also includes, as it relates to individuals with physical or mental disability:


A. Limiting, segregating or classifying a job applicant or employee in a way that adversely affects the opportunities or status of the applicant or employee because of the disability of the applicant or employee;


B. Participating in a contractual or other arrangement or relationship that has the effect of subjecting a covered entity's qualified applicant or employee with a disability to the discrimination prohibited by this Act. A relationship includes a relationship with an employment or referral agency, labor union, an organization providing fringe benefits to an employee of the covered entity or an organization providing training and apprenticeship programs;


C. Utilizing standards, criteria or methods of administration:


(1) That have the effect of discrimination on the basis of disability; or


(2) That perpetuate the discrimination of others who are subject to common administrative control;


D. Excluding or otherwise denying equal jobs or benefits to a qualified individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a relationship or association;


E. Not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless the covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of the covered entity;


F. Denying employment opportunities to a job applicant or employee who is an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, if the denial is based on the need of the covered entity to make reasonable accommodation to the physical or mental impairments of the employee or applicant;


G. Using qualification standards, employment tests or other selection criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or a class of individuals with disabilities unless the standard, test or other selection criteria, as used by the covered entity, is shown to be job-related for the position in question and is consistent with business necessity; and


H. Failing to select and administer tests concerning employment in the most effective manner to ensure that, when the test is administered to a job applicant or employee who has a disability that impairs sensory, manual or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the skills, aptitude or any other factor of the applicant or employee that the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills of the employee or applicant, except when the skills are the factors that the test purports to measure.


2-A. Educational institution. “Educational institution” means any public school or educational program, any public post-secondary institution, any private school or educational program approved for tuition purposes if both male and female students are admitted and the governing body of each such school or program. For purposes related to disability-related discrimination, “educational institution” also means any private school or educational program approved for tuition purposes.


3. Employee. “Employee” means an individual employed by an employer. “Employee” does not include any individual employed by that individual's parents, spouse or child, except for purposes of disability-related discrimination, in which case the individual is considered to be an employee.


4. Employer. “Employer” includes any person in this State employing any number of employees, whatever the place of employment of the employees, and any person outside this State employing any number of employees whose usual place of employment is in this State; any person acting in the interest of any employer, directly or indirectly; and labor organizations, whether or not organized on a religious, fraternal or sectarian basis, with respect to their employment of employees. “Employer” does not include a religious or fraternal corporation or association, not organized for private profit and in fact not conducted for private profit, with respect to employment of its members of the same religion, sect or fraternity, except for purposes of disability-related discrimination, in which case the corporation or association is considered to be an employer.


5. Employment agency. “Employment agency” includes any person undertaking with or without compensation to procure opportunities to work, or to procure, recruit, refer or place employees; it includes, without limitation, placement services, training schools and centers, and labor organizations, to the extent that they act as employee referral sources; and it includes any agent of such person.


5-A. Familial status. “Familial status” means that a family unit may contain one or more individuals who have not attained the age of 18 years and are living with:


A. A parent or another person having legal custody of the individual or individuals; or


B. The designee of the parent or other person having custody, with the written permission of the parent or other person.


The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or who is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.


5-B. Family. “Family” includes, but is not limited to, a single individual.


6. Housing accommodation. “Housing accommodation” includes any building or structure or portion thereof, or any parcel of land, developed or undeveloped, that is occupied, or is intended to be occupied or to be developed for occupancy, for residential purposes.


A. to C. Deleted Laws 2011, c. 613, § 6.


6-A. Normal retirement age. “Normal retirement age” means the specified age, the years of service requirement or any age and years of service combination at which a member may become eligible for retirement benefits. This subsection may not be construed to require the mandatory retirement of a member or to deny employment to any person based solely on that person's normal retirement age.


7. Person. “Person” includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, organizations, corporations, municipal corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers and other legal representatives, labor organizations, mutual companies, joint-stock companies and unincorporated organizations and includes the State and all agencies thereof.


7-A. Physical or mental disability. “Physical or mental disability” has the meaning set forth in section 4553-A.


7-B. Repealed. Laws 2007, c. 385, § 2, eff. June 21, 2007.


8. Place of public accommodation. “Place of public accommodation” means a facility, operated by a public or private entity, whose operations fall within at least one of the following categories:


A. An inn, hotel, motel or other place of lodging, whether conducted for the entertainment or accommodation of transient guests or those seeking health, recreation or rest;


B. A restaurant, eating house, bar, tavern, buffet, saloon, soda fountain, ice cream parlor or other establishment serving or selling food or drink;


C. A motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, roof garden, airdrome or other place of exhibition or entertainment;


D. An auditorium, convention center, lecture hall or other place of public gathering;


E. A bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, garage, gasoline station or other sales or rental establishment;


F. A laundromat, dry cleaner, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, dispensary, clinic, bathhouse or other service establishment;


G. All public conveyances operated on land or water or in the air as well as a terminal, depot or other station used for specified public transportation;


H. A museum, library, gallery or other place of public display or collection;


I. A park, zoo, amusement park, race course, skating rink, fair, bowling alley, golf course, golf club, country club, gymnasium, health spa, shooting gallery, billiard or pool parlor, swimming pool, seashore accommodation or boardwalk or other place of recreation, exercise or health;


J. A nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate or postgraduate school or other place of education;


K. A day-care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank, adoption agency or other social service center establishment;


L. Public elevators of buildings occupied by 2 or more tenants or by the owner and one or more tenants;


M. A municipal building, courthouse, town hall or other establishment of the State or a local government; and


N. Any establishment that in fact caters to, or offers its goods, facilities or services to, or solicits or accepts patronage from, the general public.


When a place of public accommodation is located in a private residence, the portion of the residence used exclusively as a residence is not covered by this subchapter, but that portion used exclusively in the operation of the place of public accommodation or that portion used both for the place of public accommodation and for the residential purposes is covered by this subchapter. The covered portion of the residence extends to those elements used to enter the place of public accommodation, and those exterior and interior portions of the residence available to or used by customers or clients, including rest rooms.


8-A. Private entity. “Private entity” means any entity other than a public entity.


8-B. Public accommodation. “Public accommodation” means a public or private entity that owns, leases, leases to or operates a place of public accommodation.


8-C. Public entity. “Public entity” means:


A. The State or any local government;


B. Any department, agency, special purpose district or other instrumentality of the State, 2 or more states or a local government; and


C. A state, local or private commuter authority as defined in the federal Rail Passenger Service Act, Section 103(8). [FN3]


8-D. Qualified individual with a disability. “Qualified individual with a disability” applies to only:


A. Subchapter III (employment); and


B. Subchapter V (public accommodations) with regard to public entities only.


For purposes of subchapter III, “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual with a physical or mental disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that the individual holds or desires.


For purposes of subchapter V, “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies or practices, the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity.


9. Real estate broker and salesman. “Real estate broker” and “real estate salesman” have the same definitions as are given respectively in Title 32, section 4001, subsections 2 and 3; but include all persons meeting those definitions, whether or not they are licensed or required to be licensed.


9-A. Reasonable accommodation. For purposes of subchapter III, “reasonable accommodation” may include, but is not limited to:


A. Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; and


B. Job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modifications of examinations, training materials or policies, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.


9-B. Undue hardship; undue burden. “Undue hardship” or “undue burden” mean an action requiring undue financial or administrative hardship. In determining whether an action would result in an undue hardship, factors to be considered include:


A. The nature and cost of the accommodation needed under this Act;


B. The overall financial resources of the facility or facilities involved in the action, the number of persons employed at the facility, the effect on expenses and resources or the impact otherwise of the action upon the operation of the facility;


C. The overall financial resources of the covered entity, the overall size of the business of a covered entity with respect to the number of its employees and the number, type and location of its facilities;


D. The type of operation or operations of the covered entity, including the composition, structure and functions of the work force of the entity, the geographic separateness, administrative or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities in question to the covered entity;


E. All the resources available to meet the costs of the accommodation, including any government funding or other grants available for making public accommodations and places of employment accessible;


F. The extent to which current costs of accommodations have been minimized by past efforts to provide equal access to persons with disabilities;


G. The extent to which resources spent on improving inaccessible equipment or service could have been spent on making an accommodation so that service or equipment is accessible to individuals with disabilities, as well as to individuals without disabilities;


H. Documented good faith efforts to explore less restrictive or less expensive alternatives;


I. The availability of equipment and technology for the accommodation;


J. Whether an accommodation would result in a fundamental change in the nature of the public accommodation;


K. Efforts to minimize costs by spreading costs over time; and


L. The extent to which resources saved by failing to make an accommodation for persons who have disabilities could have been saved by cutting costs in equipment or services for the general public.


“Undue hardship” or “undue burden” is a higher standard than “readily achievable” and requires a greater level of effort on the part of the public accommodation.


9-C. Sexual orientation. “Sexual orientation” means a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality or gender identity or expression.


9-D. Repealed. Laws 2011, c. 369, § 1.


9-E. Service animal. “Service animal” means:


A. For the purposes of subchapter 4:


(1) An animal that has been determined necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability by a physician, psychologist, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner or licensed social worker; or


(2) An animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or mental disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to intruders or sounds, providing reasonable protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items; and


B. For the purposes of subchapter 5, a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting an individual who is totally or partially blind with navigation and other tasks, alerting an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing nonviolent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or a telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability and helping a person with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.


9-F. Rent. “Rent” includes to lease, to sublease, to let or otherwise to grant for a consideration the right to occupy premises not owned by the occupant.


9-G. Respondent. “Respondent” means a person accused of unlawful discrimination in a complaint filed under section 4611 or a civil action filed under section 4621.


10. Unlawful discrimination. “Unlawful discrimination” includes:


A. Unlawful employment discrimination as defined and limited by subchapter III;


B. Unlawful housing discrimination as defined and limited by subchapter IV;


C. Unlawful public accommodations discrimination as defined by subchapter V;


D. Aiding, abetting, inciting, compelling or coercing another to do any of such types of unlawful discrimination; obstructing or preventing any person from complying with this Act or any order issued in this subsection; attempting to do any act of unlawful discrimination; and punishing or penalizing, or attempting to punish or penalize, any person for seeking to exercise any of the civil rights declared by this Act or for complaining of a violation of this Act or for testifying in any proceeding brought in this subsection;


E. In determining whether a person is acting as an agent or employee of another person so as to make such other person responsible for that person's acts, the question of whether the specific acts performed were actually authorized or subsequently ratified is not controlling;


F. Unlawful educational discrimination as defined and limited by subchapter 5-B; [FN4] and


G. Discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, credit and educational opportunity on the basis of sexual orientation, except that a religious corporation, association or organization that does not receive public funds is exempt from this provision with respect to:


(1) Employment, as is more fully set forth in section 4553, subsection 4 and section 4573-A;


(2) Housing; and


(3) Educational opportunity, as is more fully set forth in section 4602, subsection 4.


Any for-profit organization owned, controlled or operated by a religious association or corporation and subject to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 United States Code, Section 511(a) is not covered by the exemptions set forth in this paragraph.


CREDIT(S)

1971, c. 501, § 1, eff. July 1, 1972; 1973, c. 415, § 1; 1975, c. 182, § 1; 1975, c. 358, § 2; 1979, c. 350, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980; 1983, c. 437, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984; 1983, c. 578, §§ 1, 2; 1987, c. 478, § 2; 1989, c. 245, § 2, eff. June 6, 1989; 1991, c. 99, § 2; 1991, c. 109; 1995, c. 393, §§ 1 to 8; 1997, c. 205, §§ 2 to 5; R.R.1999, c. 2, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2000; 2005, c. 10, §§ 2 to 6; 2007, c. 385, §§ 1, 2, eff. June 21, 2007; 2007, c. 664, § 1; 2011, c. 369, §§ 1, 2; 2011, c. 613, §§ 1 to 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2012.


[FN1] 5 M.R.S.A. § 4571 et seq.
[FN2] 5 M.R.S.A. § 4591 et seq.
[FN3] Repealed. See, now, 49 U.S.C.A. § 24102.
[FN4] 5 M.R.S.A. § 4601 et seq.


§ 4553-A. Physical or mental disability

1. Physical or mental disability, defined. “Physical or mental disability” means:

A. A physical or mental impairment that:

(1) Substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities;

(2) Significantly impairs physical or mental health; or

(3) Requires special education, vocational rehabilitation or related services;

B. Without regard to severity unless otherwise indicated: absent, artificial or replacement limbs, hands, feet or vital organs; alcoholism; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; bipolar disorder; blindness or abnormal vision loss; cancer; cerebral palsy; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Crohn's disease; cystic fibrosis; deafness or abnormal hearing loss; diabetes; substantial disfigurement; epilepsy; heart disease; HIV or AIDS; kidney or renal diseases; lupus; major depressive disorder; mastectomy; intellectual disability; multiple sclerosis; muscular dystrophy; paralysis; Parkinson's disease; pervasive developmental disorders; rheumatoid arthritis; schizophrenia; and acquired brain injury;

C. With respect to an individual, having a record of any of the conditions in paragraph A or B; or

D. With respect to an individual, being regarded as having or likely to develop any of the conditions in paragraph A or B.

2. Additional terms. For purposes of this section:

A. The existence of a physical or mental disability is determined without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as medication, auxiliary aids or prosthetic devices; and

B. “Significantly impairs physical or mental health” means having an actual or expected duration of more than 6 months and impairing health to a significant extent as compared to what is ordinarily experienced in the general population.

3. Exceptions. “Physical or mental disability” does not include:

A. Pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual behavior disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania or tobacco smoking;

B. Any condition covered under section 4553, subsection 9-C; or

C. Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs, although this may not be construed to exclude an individual who:

(1) Has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in such use;

(2) Is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in such use;

(3) Is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use, but is not engaging in such use; or

(4) In the context of a reasonable accommodation in employment, is seeking treatment or has successfully completed treatment.

CREDIT(S)

2007, c. 385, § 3, eff. June 21, 2007; 2011, c. 542, § A-3, eff. March 20, 2012.

 


§ 4554. Construction

1. Relationship to other laws. Nothing in this Act [FN1] may be construed to invalidate or limit the remedies, rights and procedures of any law of any state or political subdivision of any state or jurisdiction that provides greater or equal protection for the rights of individuals with disabilities than are afforded by this Act. Nothing in this Act may be construed to preclude the prohibition of, or the imposition of restrictions on, smoking in places of employment covered by subchapter III [FN2] or in transportation or places of public accommodation covered by subchapter V. [FN3]

2. Insurance. Subchapters III and V of this Act may not be construed to prohibit or restrict, with regard to individuals with disabilities:

A. An insurer, hospital, medical service company, health maintenance organization or any agent or entity that administers benefit plans or similar organizations from underwriting risks, classifying risks or administering risks that are based on or not inconsistent with state law;

B. A person or organization covered by this Act from establishing, sponsoring, observing or administering the terms of a bona fide benefit plan that are based on underwriting risks, classifying risks or administering risks that are based on or not inconsistent with state law; or

C. A person or organization covered by this Act from establishing, sponsoring, observing or administering the terms of a bona fide employee benefit plan that is not subject to state laws that regulate insurance.

Paragraphs A, B and C may not be used as a subterfuge to evade the requirements of subchapters III and V.

3. Accommodations and services. Nothing in this Act may be construed to require an individual with a disability to accept an accommodation, aid, service, opportunity or benefit that the individual chooses not to accept.

4. Physical or mental disability. The definition of “physical or mental disability” in section 4553-A is intended to be interpreted broadly to create greater coverage than under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 393, § 9; 2007, c. 385, § 4, eff. June 21, 2007.

[FN1] Laws 1995, c. 393.
[FN2] 5 M.R.S.A. § 4571 et seq.
[FN3] 5 M.R.S.A. § 4591 et seq.


§ 4555. Application

This Act does not apply to the issuance, denial, suspension, revocation or restriction of drivers' licenses by the Secretary of State until April 1, 1996.

CREDIT(S)

1995, c. 393, § 10.

 



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