31 October 2022 By Admin
As a business owner or property manager in California, you should already know your responsibility to be ADA compliant. However, the actual ins and outs of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the additional requirements of the California Building Code can be overwhelming. Working with an ADA contractor like Protrk® Construction can help you ensure you are ADA compliant, avoiding the risk of expensive lawsuits!
Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to be ADA compliant in California.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, more commonly known as the ADA, is designed to stop discrimination against individuals with a disability. It covers many situations, including housing, employment, and access to public services, among others. For our purposes, we will focus on the part that deals with construction and making buildings accessible to everyone. The ADA requires businesses to provide access to all members of the public regardless of any disability that they might have. This covers things like having accessible parking, accessible ramps, handrails, and doors that can accommodate wheelchairs. An ADA contractor can work with a business owner to ensure these accessible features are included in the initial build or help remodel an existing building to satisfy the criteria. This will allow the business to pass a CASp inspection and be verified as accessible to disabled individuals allowing them equal access to goods and services.
California takes ADA compliance particularly seriously. In addition to the ADA laws, state laws in California declare violations of the ADA to be civil rights violations. This means that the business can be fined a minimum of $4000 plus legal costs for each individual violation of the ADA. This is over and above any penalty for violating the Federal ADA laws. This makes it especially important for business owners and property managers in California to comply with the ADA and the California Building Code. Working with an experienced ADA contractor like Protrk® Construction will help you navigate the requirements of both laws.
The best course of action when you want to make sure your business complies with the ADA and California Building Code, the best course of action is to work with an experienced ADA contractor. However, it is also a good idea to do some of your research and educate yourself on the requirements you will be facing. Here are a few resources that may be useful.
Q - Is Every Business In California Required to be ADA Compliant?
A - In short - Yes! The ADA applies to all businesses operating from a building or with 15 or more employees. Even those not directly serving the public need to comply with the standards for accessible design.
Q - Is Any Business Exempt From the ADA?
A - There are some exemptions to the ADA. Private clubs, religious organizations, associated businesses, and places of worship are all exempt from civil rights law. Some of these businesses may choose to be ADA compliant as a gesture of inclusivity, but they are not required to do so by law.
Q - How Do I Make My Building Compliant?
A - The first step in making sure your building is ADA compliant is to work with an ADA contractor like Protrk® Construction, who will be able to help you plan the best ways to remove any barriers to accessibility. Choosing a specialist contractor is essential as they are best placed to get everything right first! With ADA compliance, there is little to no margin for error. A few millimeters can mean the difference between compliance and a lawsuit! It’s always better to trust an expert over a general contractor who may not be as familiar with the regulations.
Q - What Happens If I Don’t Make My Business Compliant?
A - If you choose not to make your building ADA compliant, then you are breaking the law, and sooner or later, you will face a Federal Lawsuit. This can be very expensive, especially when you circle back to our earlier point about California Law also considering ADA violations a civil rights violation. It is much more cost-effective to preemptively work with an ADA contractor to get compliant rather than waiting for a lawsuit and ultimately being forced to do so anyway - with the added cost of fines and legal fees. Failure to be ADA compliant can also damage your reputation as a business. Around 25% of the population is disabled - that’s a large portion of the market you could be alienating!
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Why Wait to be "Forced" into ADA Compliance. If you are a public business or public property owner, save money, lawsuits, time and headaches by being prepared and avoiding it all in the first place. It’s time to call in the ADA pros. Use Protrk, an ADA construction expert, to Get it Done Right Prior to Forced Compliance.
Call 415-813-9877 today or visit www.protrkconstruction.com for more details.
Being involved in ADA design and construction has given me the opportunity to help a lot of business owners and commercial property owners prevent costly ADA compliant lawsuits.
Owner & Founder Protrk®
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