FAQ: Enforcement

Question:

What are the compliance dates mandated by the new 2010 ADA Standards?

Answer:

March 15, 2012 marked the compliance date for provisions governing the 2010 ADA Standards for new construction, alterations, program accessibility, and barrier removal.

As of March 15th, 2012 all newly constructed or altered facilities must comply with the requirements in the 2010 Standards. If elements in existing facilities already comply with the 1991 Standards and are not being altered, entities are not required to make changes to those elements to bring them into compliance with the 2010 Standards.

For state and local government entities, if the start date for construction is on or after March 15, 2012, all newly constructed or altered facilities must comply with the 2010 ADA Standards.

For public accommodations and commercial facilities, the compliance date for the 2010 ADA Standards for new construction and alterations is determined by:

  • (a) the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is certified to be complete by a State, county, or local government;
  • (b) the date the last application for a building permit or permit extension is received by a State, county, or local government, where the government does not certify the completion of applications; or
  • (c) the start date of physical construction or alteration, if no permit is required.
  • (d) If that date is on or after March 15, 2012, then new construction and alterations must comply with the 2010 ADA Standards

Further information can be found in the U.S. Department of Justice publication "Effective Date - Compliance Date" at http://www.ada.gov/revised_effective_dates-2010.htm.

 

Question:

How can I file an ADA complaint against a state or local government entity, or a public accommodation or commercial facility?

Answer:

If you feel that you or another person has been discriminated against by a state or local government entity, or a public accommodation or commercial facility, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Disability Rights Section. Government entities include all programs managed by local or state agencies (e.g., public libraries, public hospitals, town parks and recreation programs).Public accommodations are businesses that provide goods or services for the public (e.g., restaurants, retail stores, banks and private hospitals).

E-mail is the quickest way to file a complaint with the DOJ Disability Rights Section. E-mail complaints receive an immediate reply confirming that they have been received. If you do not receive a reply email, you may have sent your complaint to the wrong e-mail address.Send your complaint to: ada.complaint@usdoj.gov. Keep a copy of your complaint and the reply e-mail for your records. Remember that there is no guarantee of privacy when you send an e-mail. Include all of the information, either in the body of the email or in an attachment and attach any other relevant documents.

To ensure that all necessary information is provided, you may use this complaint form http://www.ada.gov/t2cmpfrm.htm regarding complaints against state or local government entities; or this one, for filing a complaint against a public accommodations or commercial facilities http://www.ada.gov/t3compfm.htm.

Also, provide the Department of Justice with the information about how to communicate with you effectively. Please let the Department know if you need to receive written communications in a specific format, such as large print, Braille, e-mail, or audio recording, or if you need to receive oral communications by video phone or TTY.

To file a complaint by the U.S. Postal Service or any other parcel delivery service, send your completed complaint form, or a signed letter containing the same information and copy of the relevant documents to the address below. Keep original documents for your own records. Complaints sent by regular mail may be delayed by 4 - 6 weeks because of necessary security screening.

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - NYAV
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Question:

How are the ADA regulations for telecommunications provisions enforced?

Answer:

The FCC implements Title IV of the ADA which covers Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). TRS enables a person with a hearing or speech disability to access the telephone system and communicate with persons without such a disability.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance in regard to disability issues relating to telecommunications contact the FCC at dro@fcc.gov. If your disability prohibits you from filing a comment please send your e-filing comments to dro@fcc.gov and include your address and telephone number.If you need to reach a member of the Disability Rights Office please call 202-418-2517.

Question:

How are the ADA regulations for state and local government and for public accommodations and commercial facilities provisions enforced?

Answer:

The revised regulations for state and local government entities (Title II) and public accommodations and commercial facilities (Title III), published by the U.S. Department of Justice I(DOJ) on September 15, 2010, became effective on March 15, 2011. The section of the revised regulations covering hotel reservation systems became effective on March 15, 2012. The revised regulations can be found at: http://adata.org/faq-page#t2n85.

Individuals may bring lawsuits to obtain court orders to stop discrimination. They may also file complaints with the Attorney General, who is authorized to bring lawsuits in cases of general public importance or where a "pattern or practice" of discrimination is alleged. In these cases, the Attorney General may seek monetary damages and civil penalties. Civil penalties may not exceed $55,000 for a first violation or $110,000 for any subsequent violation.

Question:

How are the ADA employment provisions enforced?

Answer:

The employment provisions of the ADA (Title I) are enforced under the same procedures as race, color, sex, national origin, and religious discrimination under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Complaints regarding actions that occurred on or after July 26, 1992, may be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or designated State human rights agencies. If it is determined that discrimination has occurred remedies may include hiring, reinstatement, promotion, back pay, front pay, restored benefits, reasonable accommodation, attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, and court costs. Compensatory and punitive damages also may be available in cases of intentional discrimination or where an employer fails to make a good effort to provide a reasonable accommodation.The EEOC process for filing a charge of employment discrimination may be found at:http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm.