Businesses are at their best when they function like a well-oiled machine, which includes abiding by federal and state regulations that protect civil rights. This is especially true when it comes to ADA compliance. Business owners should take extra care to avoid falling victim to misinformation. Here are the top four myths to avoid. |
What is ADA?
Signed into law in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of the more recent pieces of legislation enacted to protect civil rights. Specifically, the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. As a result, the law is designed to ensure equal opportunity for those individuals with disabilities. Business owners, who operate within the United States, are mandated to adhere to the tenants of the Americans with Disabilities Act and doing so will make them compliant.
Myth #1: Business Owners Have to Spend Lots of Money to Be Complicit
This is simply not true. The fact of the matter is that the law only requires business owners to remove architectural barriers in existing facilities that may prevent access for public accommodations such as banks, hotels, stores, and restaurants "without much difficulty or expense." As a result, it does not require business owners to spend exorbitant amounts of money on construction to make their facilities accessible in order to meet ADA compliance.
Myth #2: Business Owners Have to Immediately Remove Barriers
False. The truth is that when it comes to ADA compliance, business owners are given much more leeway than that. The law specifically stipulates that business owners are only mandated to do what is readily achievable at that time. As a result, business owners are encouraged to make long-term plans to remedy their accessibility issues and/or barrier removal that is deemed commensurate with the availability of resources.
Myth #3: Business Owners Are Forced to Hire Unqualified Individuals
Nothing could be further from the truth. Business owners that adhere to ADA compliance are only required to give equal opportunities to individuals who are qualified. In doing so, business owners should not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes those individuals with disabilities.
Myth #4: Business Owners Are Hit with Huge Fines If They Are Found in Violation
Again, not true. The civil courts can only impart penalties on businesses for lack of ADA compliance brought by the Justice Department. However, the Justice Department only pursues such penalties when the violation is substantial. As a result, minor infractions due to the delay of barrier removal, for instance, are not pursued nearly as much as cases that may include hostile acts or persisting issues.
These are just four of the most common misconceptions about ADA compliance, and they should not be considered barriers when bringing a business up to speed.
When in need of help with doors that meet ADA compliance, California businesses go to OMG Diversified Services. To learn more, visit http://www.omgdoor.com/home.
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