Is an ADA violation happening here?

The building where I work has two sets of doors. One regular and one with a sensor that opens automatically for handicapped folks. There is a guard in the lobby who doesn’t like people using the automatic doors because they stay open longer and it gets cold. He has made this abundantly clear. He has now placed one orange traffic cone on each side of the automatic door to discourage people from using them.

Is this some kind of violation of ADA rules? Or is this ok since the cones are fairly easily moved? I’ve always heard people make a big deal out of this kind of thing before and I’m shocked that he’s been allowed to do this.

If a handicap person asks for those doors to be accessible, and a handicapped person is denied, that person would have NO problem demonstrating that they made a reasonable request. Whoever runs the building has to comply with a reasonable request to accomodate someone protected by the ADA.

Probably not a violation since the cones can be moved easily.

It may or may not be an ADA violation, as previous posters have stated. However, I have a suggestions as to how you could deal with the situation.

If there is ever a time when the guard is not looking, the cones should conveniently ‘disappear.’ Hide them in the bushes outside, your car trunk, in a closet upstairs, whatever.

If the guard is clueless enough, he may ‘lose’ several sets of cones before he has to try and explain to his boss exactly why he had cones out blocking the door, and why he lost them.

You could also walk in one day with a big package in your arms, accidentally ‘trip’ over the cones, and create a big issue out of it. Heck, you may end up getting a building-wide memo describing the dangers of cone-blocked entryways and how the management will work to prevent them.

Of course you could actually complain to the guards’ boss (the building management company or the security firm?) in person about the situation, but the first scenarios are a bit more fun…

By a disabled person?

I’d make sure the building management company knows about this – it sounds like a real possibility of lawsuit if a person is injured while trying to move the cone or enter through the regular door.


That’s a good point. I was assuming that there were guards or doormen in the lobby who could move the cones if a disabled person needed to use the door. It would probably be a better idea to put a sign on the door indicating it’s for disabled use only.

Let me get this straight. In order for someone in a wheelchair to use this door from the outside, he or she will have to get the attention of a guard on the inside to come over and move some cones so they can enter? Do they always come over promptly?

I don’t see how having an automatic door is any improvement, if it basically has to be manually operated.

Just to clarify, the doors already have a sign that says “handicapped only” and the guard has made his own signs asking people to use the other door. I was really just curious because he makes a big deal everytime someone uses the automatic doors. I went through the automatics one day because I had things in both of my hands and didn’t want to fumble with a door. He gave me what I percieved as a little attitude, but it doesn’t bother me because I outrank him.

It looks like you guys had pretty much the same ideas I did so far. Thanks for the help.

The guys supervisor should be informed, he is putting the company in a very shakey position imho (ianal). I wonder how many people with “legitimate” disabilities he has given attitude to because their disability isn’t a visible one?