Common Mistakes your Business Should Avoid
Listed below are a few common mistakes that businesses and other places of public accommodations make that can lead to litigation. Generally, you should always check with an attorney to make sure that you are complying with ADA standards.
Not Enough Disabled Parking Spaces
If your commercial business has a parking lot, the lot must have the required minimum number of disabled parking spaces. Similarly, disabled parking spaces must connect to the shortest possible accessible building entrance. The ADA outlines parking space regulations as follows:
Total Spaces Minimum Required Accessible Spaces
1 to 25: 1 Accessible Parking Space
26 to 50: 2 Accessible Parking Spaces
51 to 75: 3 Accessible Parking Spaces
76 to 100: 4 Accessible Parking Spaces
101 to 150: 5 Accessible Parking Spaces
151 to 200: 6 Accessible Parking Spaces
201 to 300: 7 Accessible Parking Spaces
301 to 400: 8 Accessible Parking Spaces
401 to 500: 9 Accessible Parking Spaces
501 to 1000: 2% of Total Parking Provided in Each Lot
1000+: 20 Accessible Parking Spaces plus 1 for each 100 total parking spaces over 1000
Furthermore, if a parking facility serves multiple buildings or accessible entrances, the accessible spaces should enable people to park near as many accessible entrances as possible. Likewise, if the parking facilities serve the same building or entrance, the accessible parking spaces can be grouped together.
Your employees should be polite and accommodating. Having rude or insensitive employees could cause disgruntled patrons to sue your business.
Lack of Disabled Restrooms
One of the most prominent sources of ADA litigation is the lack of accessible restrooms. Consequently, you will want to make sure that your restrooms adhere to the provisions of the ADA. Generally, there must be at least one accessible restroom for each sex or a single unisex restroom. The ADA provides that all bathrooms must be usable by people with disabilities, and includes provisions requiring grab bars, certain mirror dimensions, toe clearances, and other important parameters. The restroom requirements can be particularly specific. If you would like to read more about suggested specifications click here; however, we recommend checking your local requirements as they may differ.
Defenses to ADA Lawsuits
In general, there are two basic defenses that can alleviate litigation from you business. These defenses are standing and mootness. In sum, standing and mootness are both jurisdiction defenses that may be used to defeat an ADA claim. Additionally, there may be other defenses that your business can use depending on the situation; however, the traditional defenses of standing and mootness may not be applicable which is why consulting an attorney is imperative.
Finally, it is important to note that a lack of knowledge about the specifics of the ADA is NOT a defense to ADA litigation. Furthermore, you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about the ADA and protecting your business from litigation. Our experienced attorneys have knowledge of the subject matter and look forward to assisting you. Please contact us for a consultation.