ADA Discrimination Law
The California legislature takes the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 very seriously, as indicated by its implementation of huge statutory penalties against non-compliant businesses set forth in California’s Civil Code. These statutory penalties are enforceable by civil claims against the businesses by the affected disabled patron—and are due and payable to the disabled patron, not the government. The Mehrban Law Corp. is part of this long term struggle to effect change in the area of civil rights for the disabled persons in California. The Mehrban Law firm represents the disabled in these types of cases, and offers its legal services to any disabled business patron who encountered difficulty accessing any California business. Upon encountering what California law defines as “architectural barriers” (things such as lack of a wheelchair ramp, lack of accessible parking, or lack of a fully accessible restroom), a disabled business patron is entitled to $4,000 in damages for each accessibility problem faced. If you are disabled, and you have encountered problems accessing a California business, call Mehrban Law Corporation for a free consultation today.
The disabled community is a group that any one of us can join instantly. However, until 1990, it was also a group that was largely neglected by society and by the legal system. It has now been over twenty years since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), yet the "equal access" the act sought to ensure is anything but guaranteed in the daily lives of disabled individuals all over the country. This has not been acceptable to the California State Legislature, which enacted the Unruh Civil Rights Act, a set of laws contained in California's Civil Code (Cal. Civ. Code section 51, et seq.), in order to force businesses into compliance with the ADA. The Unruh Civil Rights Act imposes a $4,000 penalty against the business for each instance of denial of equal access. Under the ADA and California law, all features of a facility open to the public must be equally accessible to the disabled. Some examples include:
- Permitting use of service animals;
- Providing captioning for the hearing impaired;
- Providing wheelchair accessible restrooms where restrooms are offered to the public;
- Offering a service counter that is low enough to be accessed from a wheelchair;
- Providing wheelchair accessible parking spaces with access isles; and
- Providing paper towel dispensers, mirrors, coat hooks, etc. that are within reach for those confined to a wheelchair.
There are many more requirements set forth in the ADA guidelines as well as detailed specifications created to ensure accessibility. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for non-compliance, and California businesses should become familiar with the accessibility requirements of the ADA, and avoid the possibility of having to pay thousands of dollars for noncompliance. Find information about the Americans with Disabilities Act and various compliance manuals at http://www.ada.gov/.