When ADA Calls: Responding to a Complaintalexander lee | Friday, August 26th, 2011 | No Comments »
This is a repost from [www.facililities.net].
I’m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s topic is, responding to an ADA notification.
If an institutional or commercial facility receives notification of a violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that means either a complaint has been filed in federal court or, the U.S. Department of Justice has received a complaint or is investigating the facility.
The best reaction is to read or listen to what the notification says, particularly if it came from the DOJ. If a facility receives a complaint filed in court, read the allegations as just that — allegations. An individual with a disability might make allegations that are not actually violations under the ADA.
Managers also need to evaluate the facility before responding or agreeing to a settlement in order to understand the facility’s status regarding ADA requirements. Do not jump into a settlement with the individual or group by agreeing to remedy only the items they identified because they probably have not identified all issues. In that scenario, the next complaint filed with items other than those the facility agreed to correct becomes a new complaint.
Review the entire facility, put a plan together, and start the corrections so that when the next complaint or question arises, an answer and a plan are ready and available.
This site is addressing ADA complaints throughout the United States, especially for larger facilities, which isn’t as applicable for California as California law changes the impetus for lawsuits a little differently.
In any case, the basic idea is to verify the complaint, which we can do. Ideally though, one would be compliant in the first place so as to avoid the lawsuit.
What this article misses is that when one is sued under California law, it’s generally too late to fix the items, Federal law is different. So be sure and get inspected and fix any issues right away.
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