St. Petersburg Public Accommodations Attorney
Florida Public Accommodations Lawyer Serving Business Owners in St. Petersburg
If you own a business in St. Petersburg, Florida and that business is open to the public, it is essential to know your responsibilities under the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA). More specifically, you should know that Title III of the ADA prohibits nearly all businesses that are open to the public from discriminating against a person on the basis of a disability. Businesses that must comply with the ADA include, for example, restaurants, hotels, schools, retails stores, healthcare facilities, daycare facilities, museums, libraries, recreational facilities, and movie theatres. In addition, even commercially owned private facilities, such as office buildings, factories, and warehouses, must also comply with the ADA.
In St. Petersburg, many business owners believe they are complying with ADA requirements but nonetheless learn that they are facing a claim for an ADA violation. It is extremely important to have an experienced St. Petersburg public accommodations attorney on your side to help prove that you are not liable for an ADA violation.
Required Modifications Under the ADA in St. Petersburg
Under Title III of the ADA, any covered business is required to make the space accessible for persons with disabilities. However, there are limits to the public accommodations requirement under the ADA. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that the following may be exemptions under the ADA requirements:
- Public accommodations can exclude an individual if that person poses a threat to the health or safety of others;
- Businesses are not required to modify their spaces in such a manner that would “fundamentally alter” the services the business provides;
- Businesses may be required to provide auxiliary aids such as qualified interpreters or large print materials for certain customers or guests, but the ADA does not require businesses to provide auxiliary aids when such a requirement “would result in an undue burden or in a fundamental alteration” of the nature of the business;
- Restaurants are not required to have braille menus, and stores are not required to have braille price tags;
- Bookstores are not required to have a sign language interpreter as long as employees can communicate with deaf customers through pen and paper (or other written form);
- Businesses must remove barriers to people covered by the ADA only when removing barriers would be “readily achievable,” which is further defined as “easily accomplished and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expenses”; and
- Businesses are not usually required to install elevators, but they may be required to change the layout of furniture to accommodate wheelchairs.
If you are facing an ADA violation, it is important to speak with a public accommodations lawyer in St. Petersburg as soon as possible to determine issues of liability and whether your situation may fit into a known exception.
Responsibility for ADA Public Accommodations in St. Pete
Who is responsible for complying with the ADA when it comes to public accommodations—a business owner, a commercial tenant, or a commercial landlord?
In short, the ADA places a legal obligation “to remove barriers or provide auxiliary aids and services on both the landlord and the tenant.” Accordingly, if you own a business but rent a commercial space, both you and the commercial landlord may have an obligation under federal law.
Contact a Public Accommodations Attorney in St. Petersburg
If you need assistance with an ADA claim concerning public accommodations, a dedicated St. Petersburg public accommodations attorney at our firm can speak with you today about your situation. Contact Saady & Saxe, P.A. to get started on your case with one of our lawyers.