Every business, open to the public, must comply with all ADA rules and regulations. A common misconception of business owners is that there are state agencies which monitor and regulate ADA compliance. This is not the case. A business owner is responsible, on their own, for complying with the ADA.
Failure to Comply Can Result in Costly Litigation
If a business fails to comply with ADA rules and regulations, they expose themselves to great risks. Any person who visits the business, who has a handicap defined within the ADA, can sue the business for discrimination. No physical injury is required in order to sue. All that is required, under CA State laws, is 1) proof of the business' noncompliance and 2) a handicap plaintiff.
ADA Compliance Doesn't Have to Be Expensive
Many business owners are under the misconception that ADA compliance is costly. As a result, business owners often make the mistake of ignoring the ADA and continuing to operate their business in violation of the ADA. While full compliance may sometimes be expensive, the ADA only requires a business owner to come into compliance so long as it is reasonable. This means that a business owner could make modifications to their business, to meet the bare minimum requirement, and avoid spending a huge sum of money. For example, a small business might not be able to afford to build an elevator for wheelchair patrons. The compromise could be creation of an alternate entrance or simple construction of a ramp at the main entrance. While the ramp may be less visually appealing, it could potentially solve the ADA violations without putting place out of business.