For Employers, Business and
Property Owners and Operators

The attorneys at Maxwell & Barke LLC understand that the ADA and other anti-discrimination laws regarding people with disabilities are complex and somewhat confusing.  In our experience, most employers, business and property owners and operators want to comply with the law, but have either received poor advice (even from local building permitting officials) or simply could not get through reading the sometimes confusing and apparently contradictory requirements imposed by the current laws.  Accordingly, efforts to comply ultimately fall short of what the law or laws require.

We have seen, and continue to see that compulsory compliance by way of enforcement lawsuits costs more than voluntary compliance.  Most of the clients we represent, who enforce their rights through litigation, would prefer not to have to file a lawsuit.  Indeed, when representing a person with a disability, we often try to avoid litigation by writing a letter to a business or property owner or operator, outlining our client’s particular concerns, and requesting the business owner to take steps to voluntarily comply with the law.  Unfortunately, even with a letter, many businesses fail to comply with the requirements of the ADA until suit is filed and litigation expenses are added to expenses of barrier removal.

As any employer, business or property owner or operator knows, the cost of a lawsuit in attorneys’ fees and litigation costs escalates on a daily basis.  Moreover, most property insurance policies do not cover the costs of defending an ADA lawsuit.  Though enforcement through litigation is rare, if suit is filed, the exposure is not just limited to the costs expended to comply with the law, and defendant’s own legal fees, but also the legal fees and expenses incurred by the party that has filed the lawsuit.  Moreover, since the lawsuit is a matter of public record, the potential for negative publicity is always there, which can be damaging years after the lawsuit has been resolved.  

Needless to say, voluntary compliance is less expensive and makes good business sense.  As the population of people with disabilities grows, the need for accessibility grows with it.  No business owner or operator wants to reject a segment of the population that increases everyday.  According to the Department of Justice, the market of people with disabilities has $175 billion in discretionary spending. 

At Maxwell & Barke LLC, we offer employers, business and property owners and operators, the following services, which include, but are not limited to: 

  • Comprehensive vulnerability audit;
  • Reviewing architectural plans to ensure compliance with the ADA;
  • Surveying a place of public accommodation and providing recommendations for the removal of architectural barriers to access and communication barriers;
  • The drafting of policies and procedures (such as issues with regard to the training of staff to assist customers with disabilities and drafting effective policies regarding service animals); and
  • Assisting employers in evaluating requests for reasonable accommodations and drafting policies to address the needs of employees with disabilities.

Oftentimes, the needs of a person with a disability are left unmet or are
misunderstood by the business or property owner, operator or employer.  Since we work with individuals with disabilities as well employers and business owners, we are able to provide practical advice that addresses the needs of both parties.  Our goal is not only to offer advice to ensure compliance with the law, but also to educate people about the needs of people with disabilities so that the person will want to come back to the business and tell their friends and family members to shop, dine or lodge at a particular store, restaurant, or hotel.  Too often, we see policies that are well intended but fail to accommodate the needs of the individual.  We assist business and property owners and owners to draft effective policies to meet the needs of customers and employees with disabilities, and provide accessible places of public accommodation and workplaces that meet everyone’s needs.

If you have a question regarding your obligations under the ADA, or want to schedule a meeting, please call or e-mail us to schedule an appointment or meeting.

Maxwell & Barke LLC
51 Monroe Place, Suite 806, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Telephone 301.309.8300   Telecopier 301.309.8303
Adjacent to Montgomery County Courthouse  |  Across from Rockville Metro Station