Client Alert: Food Allergies May Constitute a Disability Under the ADA

Articles & Publications

June 18, 2014

Shareholder Megan E. Grossman discusses a recent landmark settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, which opens the possibility that individuals suffering with food allergies could be considered a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The settlement makes it clear that the federal authorities will treat complaints about a school's failure to provide appropriate accommodations for students with food allergies as possible violations of the ADA. Up until this settlement, it has been unclear what schools' legal obligations are to students with food allergies but now, all learning institutions, from nursery school to postgraduate, should consider modifications to existing policies and procedures regarding food-related conditions.

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