The Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disability. The Unruh Civil Rights Acts is a similar corresponding California law. These laws require businesses and places of employment to meet specific standards so that their businesses are accessible to people with disabilities. The ADA and Unruh can apply to both property owners and tenants.
Compliance with disability-access standards can be difficult. In order to be compliant, a property must satisfy specific construction standards to provide proper disability access. For example, a certain number of handicap parking spaces must be provided based on the number of parking spaces in the lot. Parking signs and spaces must be certain colors and dimensions. Portions of the property, including entranceways and pathways, must meet specific measurements. Due to the complexities of these law, businesses are often in violation of them without knowing it.
Failure to comply with ADA and Unruh Civil Rights Acts can be costly. A plaintiff may often recover a minimum of $4,000 per violation and these penalties can add up fast. You may also have to pay the opposing party’s attorney fees if you are sued.
You can take measures in advance to comply with disability laws, provide proper access and protect your business and yourself from liability. If you are served with a disability lawsuit, take action immediately or you may give up valuable rights. Contact the attorney at Chauvel & Glatt to learn how they can help you comply with federal and state disability laws.