Noncompliance with the ADA Can Be Costly for Businesses
Thanks to some changes in the law in early 2014, noncompliance with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) can be more expensive than ever before.
On March 28, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a ruling that raised the total amount of money non-compliant organizations could face in civil monetary penalties assessed by the Civil Rights Division, including those handed down pursuant to Title III of the ADA.
Title III bans public facilities from discriminating against people with disabilities in regard to facilities, programs, goods and services, and (with a few exceptions) requires these public entities to make certain reasonable accommodations so people with disabilities have equal access to all of these opportunities. These accommodations could include modifying physical spaces to get rid of physical barriers, providing auxiliary aids for communication (such as materials written in Braille, sign language interpreters or closed captioning) and a number of other adjustments to how business is to be conducted.
With those changes in penalties, the maximum civil penalty for a first Title III violation is $75,000 (it had been $55,000) and the maximum penalty for a second offense is $150,000 (previously $110,000). These maximums apply to any violations that occurred after April 28, 2014. Before these adjustments, the last changes had been in 1999.
Small business or those with thin profit margins could be severely damaged by ADA noncompliance penalties. Even larger businesses can be hit pretty hard if the DoJ finds evidence of repeated violations, or a willful disregard of the compliance standards found in the ADA. Therefore, in the long run, it’s always better to make sure your facility meets all ADA standards.
Businesses in the hospitality and retail industries are generally those targeted the most by the DoJ because of the sheer amount of people in the general public that are in and out on a daily basis. But all businesses need to be concerned about ADA compliance.
Erie Custom Signs can help you achieve ADA compliance with our custom signs. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.