Tuesday, May 1, 2012

ADA Scam Alert for Business Owners

Own a business? Protect yourself from a new scam. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows a handicapped person to sue a business and recover damages without giving prior warning. Most of us are sympathetic towards the disabled -and California has made great progress in providing handicapped parking and access- unfortunately though, most laws are flawed and the ADA is no exception. It makes sense to give businesses “prior warning” and a deadline to become ADA compliant, but since this is not required, the ADA has created a legal “loophole” encouraging abuse.

Most insurance does not cover intentional discrimination against a person. Make sure you are in compliance with ADA regulations for: handicapped parking, marked walkways to and from the parking space, ramp and door access, proper signs, check-out aisle width and bathrooms. A friend in San Francisco was hit with a $70,000 lawsuit for damages and building modifications. There have been several recent articles in the San Francisco Chronicle about a wheelchair-bound gentleman lawyer who has made discrimination claims against local businesses. Protect yourself from vultures like these- learn the law and make the necessary building modifications.

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