How California Protects Small Businesses From ADA Lawsuits
Few small business owners are raking in the cash. In fact, many have only a month or so of reserve in place, should an emergency closure happen. It is this lack of financial security that can place small businesses at serious financial risk during a lawsuit. California state recognizes that risk and has taken proactive steps to protect small business owners from lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Learn more about this protection, and why it is important, with help from the following.
Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA was put in place to protect those with disabilities. It explicitly prohibits the discrimination against any individual with disabilities in the workplace, public accommodation, government activities, transportation, and communication. All this essentially means that employers, businesses, transportation providers, and even government agencies must accommodate disabled persons according to the law.
Where Small Businesses Often Struggle
More often than not, corporations and government agencies have entire teams helping them meet all the guidelines of the ADA. They also have the time and ability to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing laws. Small businesses do not always have this layer of protection. They may not be versed in every code outlined by the ADA, such as how high toilet paper dispensers can be hung or what color sidewalks designed for disabled persons must be painted. Further, small businesses often struggle to keep up with the numerous changes that happen under the ADA. This places them at perpetual risk for a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Another major disadvantage for small businesses is that they often lack the funds to recover from a lawsuit. They may not even be equipped with an on-staff attorney, which can result in the hiring of an attorney who is not really well-versed in the ADA or other small business laws. Ultimately, when these issues are combined, small businesses often find themselves facing financial devastation, bankruptcy, or liquidation.
How California Law Protects Small Businesses
In seeing the issues that small businesses were facing, Governor Jerry Brown passed a law that made it more difficult for people to abuse the ADA. This does not mean that a small business will not face a complaint. Instead, it simply provides small businesses with time to make corrections before being fined, or before they can be sued for noncompliance with the ADA. Further, the local government is supposed to provide small businesses with updates to the law that may require changes to local businesses.
Our Fremont Business Law Attorney Can Add Another Layer of Protection
California law does provide small businesses with the leeway they need to make repairs before being forced to pay fines or lawsuit fees, but the best measure of protection is prevention. Our Fremont business law attorney can provide you with this protection by examining your current situation to determine where there may be oversights. Further, if you do face a lawsuit, we can offer skilled representation. Learn more by scheduling a free consultation. Call 510-791-2244 today.