U.S. Attorney's Office to Survey and Inspect Chicago Area Restaurants for Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act

November 24, 2015
SmithAmundsen Hospitality Alert



On November 18, 2015, the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago announced that it will be launching a review of restaurants in the city and suburbs to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Restaurants will be identified and selected to complete a survey pertaining to the restaurant’s accessibility. Additionally, federal investigators will be identifying and selecting restaurants for on-site inspections to evaluate compliance with ADA regulations and/or confirm survey responses.

Non-compliant owners and operators will initially have the option to voluntarily agree to upgrade their facilities to meet ADA requirements. However, owners and operators found to be engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination – and those who fail to enter voluntary compliance agreements – may face a civil lawsuit and be subject to monetary penalties and civil fines.

Areas that restaurants should look at to make sure that they are complying with ADA regulations include the following:

  • Parking lots
  • Entrances, ramps and doorways
  • Seats, tables and counters
  • Restrooms

If you have questions about your obligations under the ADA or have been contacted by the U.S. States Attorney’s office to be surveyed and/or for an on-site inspection, contact us with any questions.