Do You Currently Own A Business In California AND Own A Website? The California Website Accessibility Laws Are A Standard You Should Know. SiteCompliance.io Provides Solutions To Businesses In California and Across the United States!
Business owners who are sued under the ADA complain that the law allows plaintiffs to demand huge payouts in damages without first giving the business owner the opportunity to fix the websites.
-Los Angles Times
California's Stringent Website Accessibility Laws has come as a surprise to many business owners on the West Coast.
The US Supreme Court, and the California Supreme & Appeal Courts, ruled with absolute certainty that websites must comply with ADA Title III mandates ... it is the law.
Failure to comply with these Digital Accessibility mandates, and refusal to make immediate adjustments to your website to reduce discrimination against disabled website users, could lead to a massive financial blow in the form of Fines and Lawsuits.
Not having an ADA Title III Compliant website could result in fines of up to $55,000+, for the first offense alone! Subsequent violations could result in 6-figure fines. Moreover, California businesses that do not possess ADA Title III Web Compliant websites, are now also be held liable under California’s Unruh Act.
The California courts have decided that websites that are not ADA Title III compliant, also fall under the penalties outlined under the Unruh Act. This means that for every complaint filed, read that again, I did not say lawsuit, I said complaint. You will automatically be fined $4,000.
That is $4,000 per complaint. Imagine getting 10 complaints. Or worse, the first person who filed the complaint is pissed off, and get’s all their other buddies to file a complaint as well, you could be looking 10’s, if not 100’s of thousands of dollars in automatic fines … and that’s before the costs of actually fixing your website. That’s also assuming you’re not taken to court, or worse, that you are not also slapped with federal fines ($55,000 – $110,000+)
(California’s UNRUH Civil Rights Act)
The California Court of Appeal has held that inaccessible business websites violate the ADA, as well as California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act (UCRA).
“Due to the defendant having a website which had inadequate labeling and confusing coding, the plaintiff’s screen reader software was unable to make out information contained in the graphics posted on the website, and she was also unable to make her reservation due to this.”
– Thurston v. Midvale Corp., 2019 WL 4166620, (Cal.Ct.App. Sept. 3, 2019)
The Thurston and White decisions, has set legal precedent in California that allow web accessibility suits to proceed under both the ADA and UCRA. This has signaled a significant shift in the way California businesses with a website must think about their online presence, and their ADA/UCRA compliance.
Cases like Thurston and White have now significantly lowered the legal threshold for bringing web accessibility suits, further incentivizing plaintiffs, and plaintiffs’ all to eager attorneys, to bring such suits to more and more businesses and entities across a wide array of sectors!