San Francisco Small Business Week ADA Presentation – May 2013
On May 15, 2013, one of our partners, Monica Castillo, made a presentation in San Francisco, for the City’s Small Business Week, regarding ADA Compliance for Small Businesses. Ms. Castillo’s presentation included an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), including the “readily achievable” standard by which a property owner must eliminate access barriers which are easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. The presentation continued with a comparison of California and Federal access laws, and a focus on the Unruh Act, and Disabled Person’s Act, California’s disabled access statutes. Ms. Castillo focused on landlords’ responsibilities under the law, including the recent requirement that as of July 1. 2013, all commercial leases must state whether the property has been inspected by a CASp (Certified Access Specialist). A CASp report affords landlords some protections if the property is involved in a disability access lawsuit. The protections include a 90-day stay on litigation, which prevents plaintiff’s legal fees from accruing during the stay, an early settlement conference, and a reduction in the minimum amount of the allowed statutory violation. The presentation concluded with a brief discussion of tax benefits and assistance available to commercial property owners for access expenditures.