# 69 III-6.1000 III-7.

4300

February 1, 1993

The Honorable Robert F. Smith U.S. House of Representatives 118 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Congressman Smith: This letter is in response to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, XXXXXXXXXXXXXX, concerning the effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") on small businesses. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist your constituent in understanding the provisions of the ADA. It does not, however, constitute a legal interpretation, and it is not binding on the Department of Justice. The ADA carefully balances the rights of persons with disabilities with the costs to businesses of providing access. The regulations formulated by the Department of Justice maintain the law's careful balance and recognize the legitimate needs of the business community for efficiency and profitability. The smallest employers are exempt from title I of the ADA. Therefore, as long as Mr. XXXX continues to employ fewer than 15 employees, he has no obligations with respect to his employment practices under the Act. Although Mr. XXXX's letter doesn't specifically describe the nature of his business, it does not appear to be a public accommodation. Accordingly, his business would be considered a commercial facility and would have

obligations under title III of the ADA only insofar as the business chooses to make alterations to its existing buildings and facilities or to undertake new construction of buildings or facilities. Restriping a parking lot would be considered an alteration and therefore must conform to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines which set the number of accessible parking spaces required according to the total number of spaces in the lot. See page 35612 of the enclosed Federal Register publication. In a lot with 25 or fewer spaces, one accessible space is required. The Guidelines permit the accessible space to be provided in a different location if equivalent or greater accessibility, in terms of distance from an accessible entrance, cost and convenience is ensured. If a lot is limited to the exclusive use of employees, and none of the employees are individuals with disabilities requiring accessible parking, accessible spaces may be assigned to employees without disabilities. I have enclosed copies of the Department's implementing regulation for Title III of the ADA and the Title III Technical Assistance Manual. You may wish to pass these on to Mr. XXXX for his further reference. I hope this information is helpful to you in responding to your constituent. Sincerely,

James P. Turner Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures (2)