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Storefront icon with Title III titleOn September 7, 2017, House Resolution 620, also known as the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee. H.R. 620 now heads to the floor of the full House of Representatives.

If passed, H.R. 620 would limit the ability of people with disabilities to raise claims under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The draft bill would prohibit suits alleging architectural barriers in existing public accommodations, unless the business is first provided written notice of the barrier, given 60 days to respond, and then given an additional 120 days to make “substantial progress” toward remedying the violation.

While some business groups support H.R. 620 as a means of limiting so-called “drive-by lawsuits,” the draft bill has been widely criticized by disability rights and civil rights groups, which are particularly worried about how the law will delay the ability of people with disabilities to enforce their rights.

Because the bill as currently drafted applies only to architectural barriers, it would not directly affect lawsuits centered on digital accessibility. The bill could, however, be amended to include digital accessibility before enacted into law. If passed, H.R. 620 could also serve as inspiration for further bills designed to limit the impact of the ADA, especially ADA Title III.

Level Access will continue to follow H.R. 620 as it heads to the full House of Representatives and will keep you posted with updates.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.