Avoid ADA Scams

Information in this post is provided by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to help you protect yourself against scams related to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

For their full publication, “How to Avoid Scams and Schemes Related to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990,” Contact your local Better Business Bureau Office.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities. The law aims to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities by ensuring equal opportunity to employment, state and local government services and programs, places of public accommodation, public and private transportation, and telecommunications.

As a business owner, you should be on guard for the following scams:

Expensive seminars you “MUST” attend to make sure you’re in compliance with the ADA. There are many free sources of advice and assistance for ADA compliance. You should NEVER feel pressured or rushed by a potential consultant.

Complicated remodeling jobs your business “MUST” do to be in compliance. While some remodeling may be necessary, chances are it’s not as extensive as scam artists would have you believe.

Companies (like the ones pitching you seminars or saying you need to remodel) that claim to be “ADA Certified.” Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have programs that “Certify” consultants. Before attending any ADA seminar or signing any remodeling contract, check the company out with your local Better Business Bureau or state consumer protection agency and consult their references.

Phony federal posters you “MUST” display in your business. Investigate any companies attempting to sell “Labor Law Poster Kits” through your local Better Business Bureau. While there are poster requirements under the ADA, the EEOC offers the posters free to businesses. Contact 1-800- 669-EEOC; 1-800-800-3302 (TDD); or (202) 663- 4264, for availability.

Pressure tactics from alleged officials urging you to hire them to make sure your business complies with the ADA. DO NOT be duped or intimidated by pressure tactics. The assistance and compliance information relative to your particular business may be available free by contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Department of Justice.

Remember, qualified firms and professionals do exist that can assist you with ADA compliance for a REASONABLE fee. With a common sense approach, you can avoid the pitfalls of dealing with unscrupulous and unqualified companies or consultants.