It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a guest’s animal is an ADA service animal or just a pet. CalOHA, with the help of Hart Kienle Pentecost, is here to help explain the differences.
Our White Paper series, located in the Document Library, outline The American Disability Act (ADA) regulations to clarify the definitions of both service animals and companion animals plus the reasonable accommodations that businesses are required to provide.
A service animal is defined as: “any 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 handler´s disability.”
In essence, this means a service animal is not a pet. Specifically, a service animal is a dog (with very limited exceptions) which has been trained to perform work or tasks and provide assistance to a person with a disability. Businesses are also required to make reasonable accommodations to not only the disabled person, but their service animal as well, should they require one.
The biggest inquiry we receive about service animals is what questions you as a park owner are legally allowed/not allowed to ask to determine if the animal being brought into the park is indeed a service animal or a pet. The ADA regulation has two rules:
1. You cannot ask for certification or licensing. The ADA does not require certification as part of the service animal definition.
2. You can ask, in a non-offensive manner, if the animal is required for a disability and, if so, what tasks it is trained to perform. However, if the animal’s service tasks are obvious, these questions should not be asked.
Service animals may also be removed from your premises under limited circumstances. Should there be a legitimate reason to ask the service animal to be removed, the park must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to stay without the animal’s presence.
To view the full ADA Service Animal White Paper, including sample guidelines for guests, check out the CalOHA Document Library!
This past weekend showed California’s first heat wave of the summer, with temperatures hitting the triple digits. If you have employees who are working outside, it is important to remember how to protect them from heat illnesses.
California has seen some warmer temperatures thus far this summer, but nothing like last weekend. With workers not being acclimated to such high temperatures yet, make sure they are being closely observed for any signs of heat illness.
CalChamber has also shared 5 steps for all industries to take to prevent heat illness.
In addition to these steps, employees with existing health problems or medical conditions that diminish tolerance to heat should be extra cautious. Certain medications can also increase a workers’ risk for heat illness.
To prevent heat illnesses, it is important that supervisors are trained on emergency procedures just in case an employee becomes ill. This helps to ensure that sick employees receive the proper treatment immediately and that their symptoms do not develop into a serious illness or death.
For more information and resources, check out CalChamber’s full article
California Outdoor Hospitality Association has a long history of success advocating for its members before the California State Legislature and pushing back against aggressive state bureaucracies.
Over the years, CalOHA has won its members the ability to build and rent tent and camping cabins to their customers, carved RV Parks out of the onerous tenant protection requirements mobile home parks are subject to by passing the Special Occupancy Parks Act and pushed back for years against costly regulations by Regional Water Quality Control Boards.
As of lately, California Outdoor Hospitality Association has been fighting tooth and nail against Assembly Bill 1472, which strips RV parks and campgrounds of their right to ask tenants to leave the premises and then allow them to come back and reregister. This would appear to be the first step in classifying RV parks as mobile home parks and eliminating our no cause evictions.
In response to this bill, CalOHA launched a letter writing campaign. We contacted both association members and nonmembers across the state requesting they send in opposition letters to Senator Tom Umberg. The response we received was not only immediate, but enormous as well. Thanks to our lobbyist and the RV parks and campgrounds of California, our association was able to abolish AB 1472. This bill and our fight against it begs the question:
Why do our advocacy efforts matter?
Our industry is continuously growing. However, if we do not take care of them, RV parks and campgrounds may not be able to sustain themselves in the future. Alongside our members and partners, CalOHA works hard to expand the travel and tourism industry while protecting RV parks and campgrounds from harmful legislation. We do this by lobbying and enlisting your help to fight with us.
California Outdoor Hospitality Association has strength in numbers. The support of our members is what allows us to continue fighting and advocating for the future of the outdoor hospitality industry. The connection between a legislator and the district they represent is incredibly powerful. With members in virtually every legislative district in California, CalOHA has the ability to engage with many legislators in a more meaningful way through you. We encourage our members to begin building these relationships early, not just when activated by CalOHA.
The stronger we are together, the better we become.
To find your local California Representative, check out the FindYourRep website!
Removing or evicting a guest from your park can be difficult, and in California, legislature provides ample rights to your guest and fewer rights for you, the operator/owner.
The California RV Park Occupancy Law can be found under California Civil Code, Title 2, Part 2 of Division 2. Some attorneys or local law enforcement may not be familiar with RV Park Occupancy Law and may try to use other less stringent eviction codes. However, they do not apply.
California Outdoor Hospitality Association has created the Practical Guide to the Removal & Eviction Process to help guide you through the different processes that apply to RV parks. In quick summary, all removals or evictions are based on three essential time frames of a guest.
If a guest’s length of stay is:
• less than 30 days, the guest is an occupant and requires a 7 day notice for eviction (*civil code signage must be present for removal & eviction
• more than 30 days but less than 9 months, the guest is a tenant and requires a 30 day no cause eviction notice
• more than 9 months, the guest is a resident and requires a 60 day with cause eviction notice
The legal forms provided by CalOHA should be served in accordance with the RV Park Occupancy Law. With the help of Hart Kienle Pentecost and Rudderow Law Group, CalOHA has created forms to assist you with all three types of occupancy.
Note: Proper use of these forms, when required, can save you time and protect you from potential legal problems and mistakes. The forms are for general usage only and are not a substitute for individualized documents and advice by legal professionals. Prior to using these forms, you should consult with your lawyer.
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