Ken Calvert

Press Releases

Rep. Calvert Reintroduces the ACCESS Act

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Washington, D.C, January 9, 2015 | comments

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) and Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-50) reintroduced the ACCESS Act, H.R. 241, legislation designed to help small businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 


"The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities is not to give abusive trial lawyers access to the hard earned money earned by small businesses,” said Rep. Calvert. “The ACCESS Act will ensure that disabled individuals continue to have access throughout our communities while protecting small businesses from abusive lawsuits. The important thing is to find ways to improve access, not to fleece small business owners and jeopardize jobs.”


“Too many small business owners fall victim to predatory lawsuits that serve the interests of trial lawyers, and do little to help the individuals that the ADA was designed to protect,” said Rep. Hunter. “And in California, the problem is especially pervasive. By giving business owners a chance to address alleged ADA violations before a lawsuit is filed, we restore the focus on ensuring individuals with disabilities have the accommodations that they deserve.”


The ACCESS (ADA Compliance for Customer Entry to Stores and Services) Act would alleviate the financial burden small businesses are facing, while still fulfilling the purpose of the ADA. Any person aggrieved by a violation of the ADA would provide the owner or operator with a written notice of the violation, specific enough to allow such owner or operator to identify the barrier to their access. Within 60 days the owner or operator would be required to provide the aggrieved person with a description outlining improvements that would be made to address the barrier. The owner or operator would then have 120 days to remove the infraction. The failure to meet any of these conditions would allow the suit to go forward. 


The purpose of the ADA is to ensure appropriate remedial action for those who have suffered harm. Although there are times when litigation by harmed individuals is necessary, there are an increasing number of lawsuits brought under the ADA that are based upon a desire to achieve financial settlements rather than to achieve the appropriate modifications. ADA lawsuits are especially prevalent in California. According to the California Chamber of Commerce, California has 40% of the nation’s ADA lawsuits but only 12% of the country’s disabled population. These lawsuits place exorbitant legal fees on small businesses and often times they are unaware of the specific nature of the allegations brought against them. 


The following House members have signed on to cosponsor the ACCESS Act:


1.     Tom McClintock (R-CA-4)

2.     Jeff Denham (R-CA-10)

3.     Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48)

4.     Ed Royce (R-CA-39)

5.     Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-1)

6.     Darrell Issa (R-CA-49)

7.     David Valadao (R-CA-21)

8.     Paul Cook (R-CA-8)

9.     Mimi Walters (R-CA-45)

10.    Devin Nunes (R-CA-22)

11.    Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-2)

12.    Mike Simpson (R-ID-2)

13.    Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-3) 

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