In an effort to combat so-called “drive-by” lawsuits, Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) is pushing to create better ADA access.
Specifically, Denham addressed the U.S. House of Representatives supporting the guidelines for the American with Disabilities Act to be translated into multiple languages.
“If you want businesses to comply with the law, you have to give them the opportunity to comply,” Denham said in his address on the House Floor.
Lawsuits targeting ADA non-compliance on the part of small businesses have plagued California in recent years, forcing owners to pay exorbitant sums to bring businesses up to code. In some cases, business owners cannot afford the costs associated due to older buildings and are forced to close shop.
“We’ve heard a lot of these stories about small businesses and regulatory impacts that they face,” Denham continued. “But in [the case of one constituent who faced this type of lawsuit], I was amazed to find out when I visited, she was more than happy to fix any ADA compliance issue.”
Denham said the Spanish-speaking woman was confined to a wheelchair and wanted to be able to fix the issues for her customers, especially those with disabilities.
“We need to give her the opportunity to do that,” he said.
According to Denham’s office, 75 percent of the lawsuits filed target immigrant and minority-owned businesses.
Denham voted to adopt the amendment to H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act.