Being a small business owner in Georgia or elsewhere comes with its challenges. When leasing or purchasing a commercial space for company use, one would expect it to be up to code and ready for customers. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and if one is not careful, business litigation claims may arise over alleged ADA violations.
The American with Disabilities Act, which went into effect Jan. 26, 1992, requires that all businesses, big or small, that serve the public be accessible to those individuals with disabilities. There is some understanding granted to small business owners, as the government understands that they may lack the funds needed to make changes to older buildings, but any commercial structure built after 1993 should be equipped to meet the ADA requirements. What accommodations are required under the ADA?
There are actually 12 different public accommodations required by the ADA. A few of them include having accessible parking and entrances, ensuring the store is maneuverable for those in wheelchairs and providing accessible counter areas. The full list can be found in the ADA guidebook for small businesses.
When a small business owner cannot afford to make changes to his or her business establishment, there may be some acceptable alternatives to the required accommodations that may meet ADA guidelines. Failing to at least provide these alternatives can result in one facing legal claims over ADA violations. When this happens, company owners in Georgia have every right to defend themselves, if they wish, or seek to settle the issue as quickly and quietly as possible. A business litigation attorney can help small business owners who are facing ADA violations find swift and acceptable resolutions.