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