Starting a business may have been a dream of yours since you were young, and you finally took the steps to turn your idea into an operational company. You may have considered various aspects of complying with business laws and employment laws and feel prepared to handle various issues that could come up over the course of your business years.
What you may not have considered, however, is whether your business premises are ADA compliant. The Americans with Disabilities Act works to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities to participate in everyday activities as able-bodied individuals. Though newer buildings are generally constructed with ADA regulations in mind, if your business operates out of an older building, it is important to review the details.
Do the premises comply with the ADA?
If you do not take the time to check your business premises for potential ADA issues, you and your company could end up facing a lawsuit from someone who was negatively affected by the violations. Because you certainly want to avoid such a scenario, you may want to check the following aspects of your premises:
- An accessible entrance allows easy access for patrons with and without disabilities, such as having ramps or a lift and handrails.
- Doorways are wide enough to allow wheelchair users to easily move through the doorway and have loop or lever-style handles for easy grasping.
- Parking accessibility allows enough room for individuals with wheelchairs to enter and exit their vehicles.
- Any seating and tables meet ADA height and clearance regulations.
- Aisles and shopping areas have enough space between shelves and displays for wheelchair users and those with other assistance devices to easily maneuver.
- Check-out and service counters comply with ADA requirements for height.
Of course, depending on the nature of your business, you may have other details to consider as well.
Facing a lawsuit
Unfortunately, even if you do your best to comply with laws and regulations, you may still face claims from individuals who feel that you have not done your part. In the event that a lawsuit does come against your company for ADA violations, remember that you have the right to defend against those allegations and protect your company. Discussing the issue with an experienced California attorney could better ensure that you understand your available options.