Many business owners who are accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are honestly trying to follow the regulations. They may even believe that they are doing so properly. But they have simply made some sort of mistake that has called that into question.
In some cases, this is because the business owners will believe common myths about the ADA. Without checking into them, they don’t know if their understanding of the law is complete.
One of the most common myths is that the ADA has a grandfather clause. This clause would, hypothetically, mean that buildings constructed before a certain date do not have to be updated to be compliant with the ADA. This understanding of the law suggests that it just applies to new businesses or renovations.
There is no grandfather clause
The problem with this myth is that it is fundamentally untrue. The ADA does not have a grandfather clause at all. Instead, all businesses and governments are expected to adhere to these regulations.
That being said, there is sometimes a bit of flexibility. For instance, maybe the services or products being offered by the business would be fundamentally altered by trying to adhere to the ADA, so an exception may be made. Or perhaps adherence would be impossible because it would be a financial hardship. For instance, business owners may be given exceptions if making the appropriate updates would bankrupt the company entirely.
But this does show why you don’t want to buy into any myths, such as assuming that your property doesn’t have to meet the regulations. If you have been accused of an ADA violation, you need to know what legal options you have.