Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is designed to ensure that disabled people have the same access rights and opportunities as all other individuals. Violations of Title III, such as a business refusing to provide services or necessary accommodations to a person with a disability, are subject to civil penalties and enforcement action by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Instituting a civil monetary penalty is one of the most common ways that the DOJ uses to enforce Title III of the ADA. Federal law allows fines of up to $75,000 for a first violation to $150,000 for any subsequent violations on the high end. Typical fees are often a $4,000 minimum, typically per visit. Civil penalties are usually determined by several factors, such as the number of violations and how long it took for the violation to be corrected. In severe cases involving intentional discrimination, criminal charges may also be brought against business owners or employees.
A business that violates Title III may also be required to pay a plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and court costs. This applies regardless of whether or not the disability discrimination was intentional. The costs involved in lawsuits can quickly add up, so it’s important for business owners and employers to take action when it comes to ADA compliance. Being proactive with accessibility is the best option, but if you are hit with a lawsuit, contact an expert CASp inspector who may be able to help better than some attorneys whose fees can be exorbitant.
ADA Title III violations come with potentially serious financial repercussions, especially if the business or employer has been in violation of the law before. In these cases, they may face double damages awards that could significantly increase how much they are expected to pay — as well as giving further cause for concern. These increased penalties also apply if it is found that the business either acted maliciously or with willful neglect when violating Title III of The ADA.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is empowered to enforce Title III of the ADA and may investigate possible violations. The DOJ will review procedures, interview people, and inspect facilities and other relevant considerations to measure compliance with the ADA accurately. If the DOJ finds a violation, it usually attempts to work out an agreement between the parties before filing a lawsuit. An agreement can include changes to the service or facility in question as well as payment of damages.