In September of 2012, Senate Bill 1186 was signed into law in California. This bill was enacted to help prevent litigation abuse, which is becoming a big problem in the state of California. These lawsuits cost California jobs, threaten small businesses, and in many cases, don’t even result in improved access for those who need it. There are a few ways that SB 1186 can help business and property owners. Below are some of the benefits of California Senate Bill 1186.
If their business is in a location that was completed after January 1, 2008, they have 60 days, from the date they receive the notice, to fix the ADA violation. If their property was completed prior to this date, they will have to obtain an inspection report from a Certified Access Specialist in order to qualify for this benefit. If they do qualify, they can have the fine reduced from $4000, to $1000, once the violation has been fixed.
A small business (less than 25 employees) that does not have a CASp inspection has only 30 days to resolve any issues. If completed in that time, they can have their fine reduced from $4000 to $2000.
In addition to these benefits, demands for money by attorneys are now forbidden. If an attorney sends a demand letter to a business or property owner, they must also send a copy to the California State Bar as well as the California Commission on Disabilities for review. The letter can only state potential for civil liability, and cannot request or demand money. Senate Bill 1186 has had little effect on the number of lawsuits filed in California or faster resolutions of ADA claims.