(December 20, 2012) California employers can expect some positive changes in 2013. The latest CalChamber News segment today highlights SB 1186, a bill designed to protect business owners from predatory or frivolous lawsuits under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
The law is the bipartisan product authored by Democrat Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (Sacramento) and recently termed-out Republican Senator Bob Dutton (Rancho Cucamonga).
California has 40% of the nation's ADA lawsuits but only 12% of the country's disabled population. SB 1186 is much needed relief.
Previously, owners of restaurants like Sacramento's Squeeze Inn would receive so-called 'demand letters' from attorneys seeking money in exchange for not filing an access lawsuit. Those letters can no longer be used under the new law.
"This bill provides relief to business owners and commercial property owners who were prior victims and targeted for shakedown lawsuits," explains CalChamber Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel Erika Frank. "The potential damages that could have been awarded have been reduced and the so-called demand-for-money letters that used to be sent are no longer allowed under the new law."