Millions of Americans live with different disabilities. And depending on the nature of an individual’s disability, they may struggle with barriers to access on a day-to-day basis. This is where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) helps to protect the rights of disabled Americans to safe access to public spaces.
Understanding the basics of ADA regulations and your business’s obligations can help your company to avoid the consequences of non-compliance while providing safe and easy access for your customers.
Understanding your business’s obligations under the ADA
Before delving into what happens if your business is non-compliant with ADA regulations, it can help to start by understanding your business’ responsibilities.
If you are operating a physical store that is accessible to the public, you will be required to comply with Title III of the ADA. Basically, this section prohibits establishments from discriminating against individuals with disabilities.
Here are your specific responsibilities when it comes to Title III:
- Meeting basic accessibility standards when modifying or building a company’s premises
- Including disability-friendly facilities like handicap ramps on your business premises
- Taking appropriate steps to ensure effective communications with clients who are disabled
With a clearer idea of ADA expectations, you’re probably wondering what could happen if your company falls short of the ADA’s compliance requirements. Here are some of the consequences your business could face if it is non-compliant with ADA rules.
Your business could be fined
Non-compliance with ADA regulations can lead to fines for your business. Per 2014 rules, a first non-compliance violation can result in a maximum fine of $75,000. A second and subsequent non-compliance can attract a maximum fine of $150,000.
Your business could be sued
Alongside the fines, non-compliance can also expose your business to potential lawsuits. And this too can hurt your business’s reputation and finances.
Protecting your legal rights
Every business has a duty to ensure accessibility to persons with disabilities. Find out how you can defend your business and protect your investment if it is ever charged with non-compliance with ADA regulations.