As many small business property owners will attest, the ADA is a brutal and often times unfair law. Property owners that do not comply with the ADA are not entitled to any advanced notice prior to being sued. Although important to promote access for the disabled, often times the ADA is exploited by a person that either has never actually visited the premises or visited the premises solely for litigation purposes. This same heavy handedness is coming to websites and whether they are accessible to the disabled. Property owners such as hotels and hospitality websites will be the first front which will soon be expanded to almost every website.
For more information, and how to check to see if your website is ADA compliant go to: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/small-business/fl-ada-website-accessibility-suits-20150623-story.html#page=2
Please contact our office to assist your business with all of its legal technology needs, including the issue of ADA compliant websites.
According to the Florida Supreme Court, online travel agencies do not have to pay taxes on the amount charged to customers, only on the amount they pay hotels (minus their fees, etc.) . Full opinion can be found here: sc13-838
In a 2-1 decision upholding a lower-court ruling, the Florida First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee said yesterday that the Tourist Development Act doesn’t apply to what a company collects from customers who reserve rooms online. The companies “are simply conduits through which consumers can compare hotels and rates and book a reservation at the chosen hotel,” the court ruled. . . click here for full article
Recently, the Department of Justice adopted final rules relating to the provision of accessible entry and exit to existing swimming pools, wading pools, and spas (pools built before March 15, 2012). If you have not heard by now. . . the new rules required all public use pools (hotel, community associations, etc.) to conform with new ADA regulations. In essence, the entry and exit to a public use pool has to be handicap accessible (a lift). These regulations were due to take affect on March 15, 2012 but were postponed due to an outcry from small business owners because of the high cost of compliance in such a short period of time. Today the implementation of these same regulations were postponed again. However, the postponement only applies to existing pools, in which the compliance date until January 31, 2013. All new pool construction must be in compliance with the new ADA rules.
Hotels, motels and community associations with public use pools should consult with their attorney to ensure compliance with these new regulations (as well the multitude of other regulations pending or in effect). Non-compliance is always more costly than complying. A brief primer for small businesses attempting to navigate ADA regulations can be found here: http://www.ada.gov/in