The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to protect all persons with disabilities from being discriminated against in the workplace. The act requires businesses to make reasonable accommodations that allow a disabled person who is otherwise qualified for a position to complete his or her job.
ADA Regulatory Compliance
In a recent Federal case study it was revealed that more than 41% of the ADA/accessibility lawsuits in the United States were filed in California. It has been estimated that 98% of all businesses in California have at least one condition that could expose them to a costly lawsuit.
Many of these cases are not being filed because barriers to access exist or to enforce the spirit and purpose of the law, but rather because these laws provide for penalties and attorneys’ fees. Molski, et al. v. Mandarin Touch Restaurant (CD Cal. 2004) 347 F.Supp.2d 860
Berliner Cohen has defended ADA and related accessibility claims for clients whose businesses are classified under Title III of the ADA as “public accommodations” as well as on behalf of employers including the following:
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Hotels and restaurants
- Shopping centers, malls, and retail stores
- Apartment communities
- Sports facilities
- Stadiums and theaters
- Educational institutions
- Healthcare providers
Disabled persons, advocacy groups, and the Department of Justice can bring lawsuits against business owners to enforce compliance with the ADA, a significant part of our practice is devoted to helping clients achieve enterprise-wide compliance and avoid exposure to risk and expensive litigation.
We work with a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) to aid our clients in performing accessibility-compliance audits that cover the ADA Standards, such as the following:
- Architectural barriers and accessibility elements in areas such as parking, paths of travel, restroom facilities, guest rooms and pool access.
- Electronic and digital barriers to accessing websites, reservation systems, ATMs, electronic kiosks, event ticketing, and the evolving technology in these areas.
- Programmatic barriers that prevent disabled customers from full and equal access, services, and accommodations, including inadequate policies, procedures, and training programs for staff.
- Barriers at the planning stage involving prototype compliance assessments that identify potential barriers.