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AB-150 Disabled persons: rights: liability.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/10/2017 08:55 PM

Revised  March 13, 2017


Assembly Bill
No. 150

Introduced by Assembly Member Mathis
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Baker, Chen, Cunningham, Dahle, and Waldron)
(Coauthors: Senators Bates and Berryhill)

January 10, 2017

An act to amend Section 54.3 of the Civil Code, relating to disabled persons.


AB 150, as introduced, Mathis. Disabled persons: rights: liability.
Under existing law, a person, firm, or corporation that interferes with various specified rights of a disabled individual is liable for the actual damages of each offense and any amount determined by a judge or jury of up to 3 times the amount of the actual damages, but in no case less than $1,000.
This bill would establish notice requirements for a plaintiff to follow before bringing an action against a small business, as defined, for an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The bill would require the plaintiff to provide notice to a business at least 6 months before filing the complaint. The bill would also preclude commencement of an action against a small business for an alleged ADA violation if the small business has made a good faith effort to correct the alleged violation.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 54.3 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

 (a) Any person or persons, firm or corporation who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities as specified in Sections 54 and 54.1 or otherwise interferes with the rights of an individual with a disability under Sections 54, 54.1 and 54.2 is liable for each offense for the actual damages and any amount as may be determined by a jury, or the court sitting without a jury, up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damages but in no case less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), and attorney’s fees as may be determined by the court in addition thereto, suffered by any person denied any of the rights provided in Sections 54, 54.1, and 54.2. “Interfere,” for purposes of this section, includes, but is not limited to, preventing or causing the prevention of a guide dog, signal dog, or service dog from carrying out its functions in assisting a disabled person.
(b) Any person who claims to be aggrieved by an alleged unlawful practice in violation of Section 54, 54.1, or 54.2 may also file a verified complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing pursuant to Section 12948 of the Government Code. The remedies in this section are nonexclusive and are in addition to any other remedy provided by law, including, but not limited to, any action for injunctive or other equitable relief available to the aggrieved party or brought in the name of the people of this state or of the United States.
(c) A person may not be held liable for damages pursuant to both this section and Section 52 for the same act or failure to act.
(d) (1) A plaintiff may not commence an action against a small business pursuant to this section for a violation of subdivision (c) of Section 54 or subdivision (d) of Section 54.1 unless all of the following conditions have been met:
(A) At least six months prior to filing the complaint, the plaintiff provided the defendant notice of the alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336), including the specific facts that constitute the alleged violation, and specifying how the violation can be remedied.
(B) The defendant failed to make a good faith effort to correct the alleged violation within six months of the date that the notice of the alleged violation was received.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “small business” means a business that employs fewer than 50 full-time employees.


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