Small fortune enterprises)--
The Americans with Disabilities Act is about to undergo major cosmetic surgery.
For small business owners, this means a new set of regulations and some familiar questions: What do I need to do to comply with ADA?
Would I risk a lawsuit if I didn't make a change?
The answer depends entirely on what kind of business they run and what kind of disability their employees have --
And whether they have ever had customers with eye masks. eye pig.
ADA, signed into law by first President Bush in 1990, has two main tasks: protecting disabled persons from workplace discrimination and providing disabled persons with access to restaurants, theaters and other places, and other businesses.
With Congress and the Justice Department, both tasks will be defined more precisely.
Last week, the House passed a 402-17.
The bill is expected to be passed in the Senate and is expected to become law in early 2009.
The new measure aims to expand ADA coverage in response to a series of court cases over the past decade, such as those in Texas 1999, where a federal judge ruled that an employee with epilepsy was not eligible to be disabled --
Because employees are taking medicine.
Under the new legislation, such "mitigation measures" do not prevent persons with disabilities in law.
People who take drugs or use equipment such as hearing aids are more likely to be eligible to enter the workplace of ADA --
Protection of discrimination.
It also benefits employees with diabetes, artificial limbs and certain mental illness.
They deserve certain rights from their employer, such as taking birth control pills during the day or taking sick leave.
If the boss fired such an employee, her company would be at greater risk of litigation.
"We know this will be a lower standard," said US Vice President Randel Johnson. S.
Chamber of Commerce, a pro
"As for how many people will be covered, it will work over time.
"It seems that this is not enough for the owners to deal with, and the Department of Justice has put forward new regulations on the access of persons with disabilities to public spaces.
Timing coincidence: the Justice Department is responsible for regularly revising ADA.
The proposed regulations proposed in the 1,000 page document can be read on the Ministry of Justice's website. But hurry -
You will not comment on them until August 15.
At that time, the Justice Department will weigh the public opinion and then finalize the new regulations.
Experts say the regulations may be passed with few changes, or they may come into effect in early 2009.
The proposed regulation is mind.
Everything is covered from the wheelchair ramp to the accessibility light switch to the bathroom.
The bathroom sink of an establishment needs to be placed 2 feet from the center line of the toilet;
18 inch is the current standard.
Many rules are industry-specific.
The restaurant needs to disable 5% seats
Tables that are accessible, not 5% (
The retail counter at the small store must provide a 17 inch knee and toe gap so that customers can roll up in a wheelchair.
The sauna must have a door to provide a 32 inch clearance.
At least half of the mini holes.
The golf course must be configured to accommodate disabled players.
The reform proposed by the Department of Justice is crucial for small businesses, including a grandfather clause.
If you meet the current ADA guidelines, you don't have to meet the new standards --
Unless you make a "substantial" change to your facility.
Of course, there are a lot of questions about what constitutes enough to trigger changes to new regulations.
All these gray areas of law can mean expensive litigation.
"We will develop new regulations on the basis of the existing series of difficult regulations," said Minh Vu, ADA lawyer at the National Federation of Independent commerce.
"It will be very difficult for small companies --
Businesses Mainly figure out what they should do.
"The Department of Justice offers preferential treatment to the business community in at least one area.
The proposed revision includes a better definition of animal types that disabled people can bring into restaurants and other businesses.
This is a truly controversial area, according to disability experts.
Some customers appeared in the company of curious creatures.
Many times, pets
Owner's reasons-under the ADA -
Animals are necessary for their comfort and healthbeing.
"The new guide separates comfort from service areas.
"Animals need to be able to complete tasks such as opening the door," said Curtis Decker, executive director of the National Network for the rights of persons with disabilities . ".
This means that there will be no more ferret, sandrat or serving snake.