ADA Design & Construction Solutions
Protect your property from costly lawsuits.
Our licensed team of experts can provide proactive solutions for commercial properties, community associations, government agencies and retailers throughout California, as well as turnkey remediation to bring your site into ADA compliance with federal and state codes.
All text of California Law can be accessed online at the California Legislative Information website. This list is not intended to be inclusive:
What is my potential liability, if I am not in compliance?
Civil Code 55.56, as enacted by SB 1608 legislation, provides for statutory damages of $4,000 if the plaintiff is denied full and equal access to a place of public accommodation on a particular occasion or visit, not $4,000 per each violation as previously allowed under the Unruh Act, Civil Code 52(a).
According to Civil Code 55.56, a person is denied full and equal access only if the individual personally encountered the violation on a particular occasion, or the individual was deterred from accessing a place of public accommodation on a particular occasion. A violation personally encountered by an individual may be sufficient to cause a denial of full an equal access if the person experienced difficulty, discomfort, or embarrassment because of the violation.
What is the ADA and how does it apply to my business or facility?
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of individuals with disabilities and requires all public accommodations and commercial facilities to be accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Since January 26, 1992, all new construction and all additions and alterations to existing buildings are required to comply with the ADA. The ADA contains no “grandfathering” provisions, therefore, places of public accommodation constructed before January 26, 1992 are required to remove barriers if it is “readily achievable to do so.” Existing facilities that built between January 26, 1992 and March 14, 2012 are required to be in compliance with the 1991 Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (1991 ADAAG) have safe harbor for most provisions of the current 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards (2010 ADAS) which became effective for facilities built after March 15, 2012.
In addition, accessible features are required to be maintained at your facility. Failure to come into compliance or maintain compliance leaves you vulnerable to having a discrimination claim filed against you by an individual that is denied access to your business or facility due to physical access barriers.
How does someone demonstrate that he/she was denied access?
According to the Code of Civil Procedure 425.50, an individual that alleges a construction-related accessibility claim must address the following items in the claim:
The ADA places the legal obligation to remove barriers, provide auxiliary aids and services, and maintain compliance of accessible features at a place of public accommodation on both the landlord and the tenant. The landlord and the tenant may specify within the terms of the lease who is responsible for which areas of the facility, but both remain legally responsible.
Additionally, California Senate Bill 1186 (SB 1186) passed in 2012 requires a commercial property owner or lessor to disclose on every lease form or rental agreement executed on or after July 1, 2013, whether the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a CASp, and, if so, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards.
What is an applicable construction-related accessibility standard?
Construction-related accessibility standard” is defined as a provision under state or federal law for making new construction and existing facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. Facilities must comply with both federal and state accessibility standards, however, the current version of state and federal accessibility standards are not necessarily applicable to your existing facility.
ACR knows which version of the code and standards is applicable to the compliance of your facility based on its age and history of improvements. In addition to the accessibility standards of the ADA, the applicable state standard for your facility is the version of the California Building Code (CBC) under which the facility or improvement to your facility was constructed.
For existing facilities, the current 2013 California Building Code applies only to a planned addition, alteration, or improvement of the facility which occurs after January 1, 2014.
What are SB1608 and SB1186?
Are there any tax incentives to become ADA Compliant?
Yes, there are. Tax credits and tax deductions make ADA Compliance more affordable.
As a business, you must comply with ADA regulations. But did you know…? To help businesses comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), Section 44 of the IRS Code allows a tax credit for small businesses and Section 190 of the IRS Code allows a tax deduction for ALL businesses.
The tax credit is available to businesses that have total annual revenues of $1,000,000 or less in the previous tax year or 30 or fewer full-time employees. This tax credit can cover 50% of the eligible access expenditures in a year up to $10,250 (maximum tax credit of $5,000).
The tax credit can be used to offset:
The tax deduction is available to ALL businesses with a maximum deduction of $15,000 per year. The next step in taking advantage of these incentives is easy.
Please note: This information is not intended as tax advice. Please consult with your tax consultant / advisor for any / all potential tax deductible spending on repairs / improvements.