Bill by Senator Mendoza to Require Tracking & Reporting of Disability Access Lawsuits Against California Community Colleges & K-12 School Districts Signed by Governor Brown

September 30, 2016

Sacramento - Senate Bill (SB) 1406 by Senator Tony Mendoza, Chair of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, was signed by Governor Brown today. The new law will provide for data collection on the number and result of disability access lawsuits filed against community colleges and K-12 school districts in California.

 

“I thank Governor Brown for signing SB 1406. Tracking disability access will help public entities understand the magnitude of this issue and develop appropriate solutions to address access violations for people with disabilities,” said Senator Tony Mendoza.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of lawsuits against community colleges and K-12 school districts citing construction-related accessibility violations. 

“These types of lawsuits can result in costly repairs, and significant legal fees. My hope is that this new law will bring about positive change and improve access for individuals with disabilities, negating the need for lawsuits,” added Senator Mendoza.  

Current law requires reporting of certain information regarding disability access lawsuits filed against private businesses; however, requirements do not exist for disability access lawsuits filed against community college and K-12 school districts.

Existing law requires an attorney who serves a complaint claiming a violation of any construction-related accessibility standard, with respect to a place of public accommodation provided by a business, to send a copy of the complaint to the California Commission on Disability Access within 5 business days of sending or serving the complaint. Additionally, the attorney must notify the Commission of judgment, settlement, or dismissal of the claim or claims alleged in the complaint, and other specified information within 5 business days of the judgment, settlement, or dismissal.

SB 1406 will do the following:

  • Require an attorney who serves a complaint alleging a construction-related accessibility claim against a public entity, to send a copy of the complaint to the California Commission on Disability Access, in a format specified by the Commission. 
  • Require these attorneys to also submit the notification of judgment, settlement, or dismissal to the Commission.
  • Require the California Commission on Disability Access to Collect and compile the lawsuit data.

Senator Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles native and former elementary school teacher in East Los Angeles, represents the 32nd Senate District encompassing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. For more information about Senator Mendoza visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

MISSION STATEMENT

"To help constituents and the community through courteous, friendly, non-judgmental service and to help educate and lead the next generation of leaders.”