You and your family members own and operate a small, 10-room motel here in San Jose. All told, there are six employees — all family members. Given the circumstances and the small scope of your family-run business, you don’t have to comply with the ADA, do you?
As it turns out, the tenets of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) do apply to your motel under Title III because your motel is a “public accommodation.” Thus, it is required to “make reasonable accommodations for those with recognized disabilities.”
What does that mean in your situation?
The term “reasonable accommodations” is rather nebulous and open to interpretation. However, in the case of a motel owner, it could be something like having a ground-floor room available with handicap-accessible bathroom facilities.
How compliance is handled
Part of your responsibility is to remove readily achievable physical barriers that otherwise prevent your disabled guests from accessing your facilities. Here, the focus is on “readily achievable.”
Businesses all over the globe took a big hit in 2020, and for many, profit margins were thin to nonexistent. If you are struggling just to keep the lights on in your motel due to present economic conditions, your ADA compliance could be paused or removed until you gain the resources to be able to afford to remove those barriers.
Get the guidance you need
Before you get hit with fines or lawsuits, be proactive about your ADA compliance status. Consult with a discrimination law attorney to make sure you remain within the bounds of the ADA or have a legitimate reason for the delay so that you avoid legal woes down the line.