Happy Friday

Setting the facts straight on the ADA

For the last several years, in every session of congress there have been bills introduced which would limit the effectiveness of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Given clever names which would make one believe they would help people with disabilities such as the ADA education and reform act of 2017, what they really do is limit what a person can do to make businesses comply with the law. Keep in mind, that this law has been around since July of 1990, and businesses were supposed to be in compliance by 1995, but if this becomes law people who find businesses out of compliance will have to allow 60 days after notification for the business to say how they will come in to compliance, and 120 days for them to actually do it. So even though businesses have had 27 years to come in to compliance, if they haven’t, with this law they would get an additional 120 days. What has caused congress to look at this at least in part are a few lawyers who are filing countless lawsuits and using intimidation to get money from those who have been sued. Yet even if this law were past, it wouldn’t stop this because the ada doesn’t allow for punitive damages so those suits are happening because of state law. People with disabilities don’t want to see frivolous lawsuits any more than the businesses that are being sued, but we do want businesses to be accessible to us. To fix this problem, it isn’t the ADA that needs to be changed, it is state laws that allow for damages that need to be changed, and laws to punish attorneys who file frivolous suits need to be past.