The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) affects the vast majority of businesses across the nation, whether or not they welcome the general public on to their premises. If employees come in to work at an office building, for example, that building must follow ADA regulations.
So what happens to a company that does not comply with the ADA?
The short answer: expect to pay some heavy fines.
ADA noncompliance has always led to fines for business owners. However, the penalties became even more severe in early 2014, when the United States Department of Justice raised the amount of money a noncompliant organization could be forced to pay for violations. These penalties are assessed by the Civil Rights Division, and specifically relate to Title III of the ADA.
Title III bans all public facilities from discriminating against any person with disabilities with regard to access to programs, facilities and goods and services. These public entities are required to make reasonable efforts to accommodate people with disabilities to afford them this equal access. Examples of accommodations could include:
- Removal of physical barriers from spaces that would otherwise impede access
- Providing aids for communication, such as Braille lettering for blind or vision-impaired people, or sign language interpreters and/or closed captioning for deaf or hearing-impaired people
- Any other adjustments that ensure equal access for people of all abilities
Under the rules established in 2014, a maximum penalty for a first-offense Title III violation is $75,000, and $150,000 for a second offense. For small businesses, this could represent a significant blow to their viability. Large companies are likely to be given significantly less leeway, and therefore must also ensure constant compliance of ADA standards.
Therefore, all businesses should do everything they can to ensure accessibility and ADA compliance, including using ADA compliant signage throughout their premises.
For more information on what qualifies as ADA signage, and the regulations associated with creating and mounting that type of signage, contact us today at Erie Custom Signs and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.