Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) has joined Congressman Ted Poe (TX-2) to introduce legislation, H.R. 620, designed to help small businesses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
"The goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to provide access for the disabled – it’s not to give unscrupulous trial lawyers the opportunity to abuse small businesses,” said Rep. Calvert. “California has become ground zero for abusive ADA lawsuits and I have heard from many of our job creators who have fallen victim to abusive ADA lawsuits that are not aimed at improving access for the disabled. Protecting small businesses from abusive lawsuits and ensuring disabled Americans have adequate access are not mutually exclusive goals.”
The bill 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.
Rep. Calvert continued, “I appreciate Mr. Poe’s leadership on this issue and I know his expertise and service on the House Committee on the Judiciary will help ensure that H.R. 620 makes it across the finish line. I look forward to working with him to ensure that serial litigants are no longer rewarded for taking advantage of an important and meaningful law.”
As a former small business owner, Rep. Calvert experienced firsthand the devastating effects of frivolous ADA lawsuits. As such, Rep. Calvert has been a long-serving leader on ADA reform issues in Congress and looks forward to continuing the fight on these important issues.
Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), Congressman Ami Bera (CA-7), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) and Congressman Mike Conaway (TX-11) also cosponsored the legislation.
The following organizations have endorsed the bill:
American Hotel and Lodging Association, American Resort Development Association, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, CCIM Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, International Council of Shopping Centers, International Franchise Association, NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, National Apartment Association, National Association of REALTORS®, National Association of Theatre Owners, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Federation of Independent Business, National Multifamily Housing Council, National Restaurant Association, NATSO, Representing America's Travel Plazas and Truck Stops, Retail Industry Leaders Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.