Potential New Legislation Could Change Expense of ADA Violations
New legislation introduced by Representative Jerry McNerney (D-California) would remove the profit from lawsuits filed for violations of the Americans with Disability Act. This would potentially shrink the penalties public entities would have to pay if they are found guilty of ADA
Under Rep. McNerney’s bill, businesses would have 90 days to correct their ADA violations before a lawsuit would be able to proceed, buying them more time to make the appropriate fixes before they’d have to potentially pay huge fines. According to McNerney, these fines for ADA noncompliance can cripple smaller, newer businesses, some of which have had to lay off employees or actually shut down altogether because of Americans with Disability Act fines. California is the nationwide leader in ADA compliance lawsuits. McNerney says small businesses in his county have been particularly hard, but it’s a problem throughout his home state. There were more than 7,500 ADA lawsuits throughout California, compared to 2,500 in all 49 other states combined. And, according to McNerney, more than half of those Americans with Disabilities Act suits in California were filed by just two lawyers, which he says indicates attorneys are starting to use these violations as a means of profiting themselves.
The new bill would not eliminate fines for ADA violations altogether. Businesses would still be responsible for paying fines if they still have not solved their problems after 90 days. Common examples of such violations include not having enough handicapped parking, not having handicap accessible ramps as alternatives to stairs, inaccessible bathrooms, narrow hallways, improper signage and inaccessible areas of the building where public programs occur. Even if this bill passes and businesses do have an extra buffer period before they need to pay fines, it’s still important that businesses and organizations do everything they can to make their facilities ADA compliant. This includes having ADA-compliant signage located throughout their buildings.
Contact us today for more information about how your business, sign shop or organization can make Erie Custom Signs your exclusive supplier of wholesale, high-quality ADA signage. We look forward to working with you.