Monday, August 15, 2011

New Resources for U.S. FECs

I just posted the new ADA white paper for miniature golf courses and supplementary small business primer on our ADA web page.

Together, these materials cover the 2010 Standard and compliance strategies for both new and existing miniature golf courses, as well as barrier removal obligations and general nondiscrimination requirements.

Compliance with the 2010 Standard is required for courses built or permitted after March 15, 2012. Compliance with general nondiscrimination requirements, such as service animals is already required for recreational facilities. Barrier removal obligations are ongoing, but IAAPA recommends facility owners begin assessing their courses and formulating a barrier-removal plan as soon as possible.

There are still some outstanding questions about the new rule's application to miniature golf courses, and IAAPA is in contact with the U.S. Department of Justice on these issues. As we get answers, we will update the whitepaper and notify members. If you have questions that you would like us to ask DOJ on your behalf, please contact us at

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The end of employment background checks?

On July 26, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a meeting to discuss the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process. This is thought to be the first step in the process of changing the current guidelines on background checks. The EEOC left the hearing record open for 15 days after the meeting so that interested parties could file comments on the issue.

The ability to ask an applicant if he or she has been convicted of a felony then run a background check if necessary can be an important HR tool for IAAPA members. IAAPA filed its own comment letter on the issue, as well as signing onto the letter from a coalition of businesses that rely on background checks to provide customers with safe products and services.

It is unclear whether the EEOC will continue with this guideline change after considering the comments it receives or what exactly the new guidelines will say. IAAPA will continue to monitor this issue and alert members as needed.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Congress passes CPSIA Reform

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed H.R. 2715, which will offer manufacturers of children's products a bit of relief from some provisions of the CPSIA.

A quick summary of provisions that will impact IAAPA members:

Lead Limit
• Includes categorical exclusions for ATVs, dirt bikes, bicycles, and printed materials
• Removes the lead limits for “used children’s products”
• Applies prospective limits from the point of manufacture

Third-Party Testing
• Requires CPSC to seek public comment on ways to reduce burden and cost, specifically requesting information on redundancy with existing testing standards
• Includes testing exceptions for small-batch manufacturers

Phthalates Limit
• Includes an inaccessibility exclusion for phthalates

• Requires CPSC to stay publication for five additional days when the commission receives notice of materially inaccurate information
• Requires CPSC to attempt to get model/serial number or a photo of a product in question

The legislation now goes to President Obama for his approval. Stay tuned for updates.

UPDATE: President Obama signed the legislation into law on August 12, 2011. It is effective immediately.