Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
November 2010, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
The purpose of the ADA, which “prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities,” is to provide “a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination” and “clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination.” It states that businesses that serve the public have to remove physical barriers when such removal is “readily achievable, which means easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense.” The “readily achievable” obligation varies based on the “size and resources of the business,” meaning “larger businesses with more resources are expected to take a more active role in removing barriers than small businesses.” Additionally, the ADA acknowledges that fluctuations in economic conditions can dictate when a business removes barriers. When the resources are available, the business is expected to remove barriers, but if the resources aren’t available (i.e., profits are down), “barrier removal may be reduced or delayed.” 
Penalties for non-compliance: “The Department of Justice may file lawsuits in federal court to enforce the ADA, and courts may order compensatory damages and back pay to remedy discrimination if the Department prevails. Under title III, the Department of Justice may also obtain civil penalties of up to $55,000 for the first violation and $110,000 for any subsequent violation.” 
Please note: This is not legal advice and dealers should always seek the assistance of qualified legal counsel.
From "19 Laws, Rules and Regulations That Can Cost You More Than Money" in the September 2010 issue of Auto Dealer Monthly.