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ADA Compliant Restroom (Public Vs. Private Employees only)

Torrance, CA |

There is a restaurant that I am about to acquire. I noticed that they do not have an ADA compliant restroom. In fact, they have one uni-sex restroom ONLY! Do I have to comply with ADA requirements if I make it for private use (Employee use ONLY)? instead of for general customer use ? (space is limited anyway - only 850 SQ FT).

If a wheelchair customer came, do I have the right to say, sorry we don't offer restroom because it is for employees only - no public restroom? Can I just say please go to the restaurant next to me (Round table Pizza which they have ADA restroom)?

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Attorney answers 1


As a practical matter, you should have an attorney assist you in determining who is responsible for ADA compliance under your lease before you acquire the restaurant.

More important, you do not have the right to have your customers use another restaurant's bathroom. Further, having your customer's go to another building to use the restroom is probably not compliant under the local building code. Finally, unless your restaurant considered "take out" only, you will probably required to have a bathroom for your customers. You should contact the local department of building and safety to determine the applicable requirements.