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Chapter 3: General Requirements

Regulatory references: 28 CFR 36.201-36.213.

III-3.5000 Discrimination on the basis of association.

A public accommodation may not discriminate against individuals or entities because of their known relationship or association with persons who have disabilities.

ILLUSTRATION: A day care center cannot refuse to admit a child because his or her brother is infected with HIV, even though the child seeking admission does not have a disability.

This prohibition applies to cases where the public accommodation has knowledge of both the individual's disability and his or her relationship to another individual or entity. In addition to familial relationships, the prohibition covers any type of association between the individual or entity that is discriminated against and the individual or individuals with disabilities, if the discrimination is actually based on the disability.

ILLUSTRATION 1: The owner of a building may not refuse to lease space to a medical facility because the facility specializes in treatment of individuals with HIV disease.

ILLUSTRATION 2: If a theater refuses to admit K, an individual with cerebral palsy, as well as L (his brother) because K has cerebral palsy, the theater would be illegally discriminating against L on the basis of his association with K.