Businesses must pay large fines when they violate the ADA.
Courts may levy civil penalties only in cases brought by the Justice Department, not private litigants. The Department only seeks such penalties when the violation is substantial and the business has shown bad faith in failing to comply. Bad faith can take many forms, including hostile acts against people with disabilities, a long-term failure even to inquire into what the ADA requires, or sustained resistance to voluntary compliance. The Department also considers a business’ size and resources in determining whether civil penalties are appropriate. Civil penalties may not be assessed in cases against state or local governments or employers.