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California Mulling Potential ADA Compliance Grace Period

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A new piece of legislation proposed by California state representative Jerry McNerney would give businesses a 90-day grace period in which they could correct any violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act before any lawsuits against them would be able to proceed.

This would be a tremendous relief for business owners, many of whom are not even aware of these violations before the lawsuits are filed. For many of these businesses, they get absolutely hammered with expenses, not so much from making the upgrades to meet compliance standards but from having to pay exorbitant legal fees to settle the case.

One prime example of this in California is a Baskin Robbins franchise in Mountain View, owned by John McAllister. According to McAllister, he’d never realized his ice cream shop failed to meet certain ADA standards until the lawsuit was filed. Making the changes in his store, which included bringing in a more accessible table, only cost about $400, but he had to pay more than $16,000 in legal fees and settlement costs.

Obviously, McAllister is in support of the bill, saying it is a fairer law for small business owners.

However, disability rights advocates say this proposed bill would actually discourage compliance on the part of business owners, as it could lead to a “wait and see” sort of approach. Their main argument is that business owners should be familiar with ADA compliance standards, given that they’ve been around for approximately 25 years.

California has been the site of the most ADA lawsuits in the nation by far. This is just the latest proposal put forward in an attempt to limit the amount of lawsuits filed. Some lawmakers have said the lawsuits are quickly moving into frivolous territory.

Regardless of what California ends up deciding to do in this situation, it is always a good idea for business owners to be aware of what they need to do to be compliant with the ADA. For more information about ADA compliance and getting ADA compliant signage for your location or sign shop, contact the trusted team at Erie Custom Signs today.

Filed Under: ADA News

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