As of April 27, those who fail to provide public accommodations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act will face heavier civil penalties from the U.S. Department of Justice. This is the first time these penalties have been raised in over 10 years.
Even though the increased civil penalties are good news, Jim Weisman, general counsel for United Spinal Association, suggests this isn’t really something to get excited about. “It’s clearly beneficial to people with disabilities because it makes the penalty more significant but in fact it’s not an enormous development or some new commitment by the federal government,“ he says.
According to the DOJ, the maximum civil penalty for ADA violations will increase from $55,000 to $75,000. All subsequent offenses will rise from $110,000 to $150,000. The increases were announced in the March edition of the Federal Register. The penalties were last adjusted for inflation in 1999.