Biography

Josh Stein lives and breathes accessibility law. With over 20 years of experience, almost all of it focused exclusively on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, he resolves bet-the-company regulatory investigations and shuts down novel lawsuits involving public venues, physical workspaces, policies, practices, and procedures, and digital technology. By prioritizing efficient and effective resolutions over unnecessary or high-risk litigation, he helps clients focus on developing compliance best practices and an accessibility-first mindset. Startups to Fortune 500 companies, including high-end retailers, sports leagues and clubs, stadiums, arenas, theaters, cruise lines, hotels, media companies, and technology firms, all value Josh as a long-term partner. His vast knowledge of accessibility law, good judgment, responsiveness, and sharp negotiating tactics protect their best interests and help them efficiently avoid litigation and achieve accessibility.

Based on the volume and variety of matters he's handled, Josh is a one-stop solution for his clients' accessibility needs—ranging from commonplace to complex. Josh draws on his nearly encyclopedic knowledge of the law and his vast network of relationships to deliver definitive answers and practical solutions tailored to each client’s particular business concerns. As part of his practice, he audits design plans and construction builds of major venues, including sports stadiums/arenas, and cruise ships; defends high-end retailers, technology companies, and theaters in class actions involving novel theories of the law; and interfaces with advocacy groups seeking to expand accessibility for their constituents. He also develops accessibility policies and delivers related training and advice on both public and employee accommodation issues.

To help clients comply with the complicated and extremely technical worlds of both brick and mortar and digital (e.g., website and mobile application) accessibility for individuals with disabilities, Josh built an in-house solution with full-service technical and auditing capabilities. True to his approach, the team is committed to fixing problems quickly and giving clients practical guidance, experience, and best practices to avoid recurring mistakes and achieve long-term compliance.

Josh co-chairs Epstein Becker Green's ADA and Public Accommodations Group. He is also a thought leader in the accessibility space, regularly authoring and speaking on issues relating to all aspects of accessibility, including both employment and places public accommodations.

Experience

  • Established COVID-friendly accessibility policies, practices, and procedures, and related training programs, pertaining to social-distancing, mask and vaccination policies, and the adoption of new contact-free technology, for clients across industries, including, sports leagues, clubs, and stadiums/arenas, cruise lines, high-end retail chains, hotels, and fitness chains.
  • Defeated class action lawsuits alleging that global retailers’ failure to provide Braille gift cards violated federal, state, and local accessibility laws. Josh established not only that the claims had no basis in the law/regulations but that his clients also sufficiently provided access in other ways. Josh got the cases dismissed, helping set industry precedent that the ADA does not require retail stores to provide Braille gift cards.
  • Defeated a class action lawsuit brought against a national theater production company alleging that the company’s online "no outside food/drink" policy violated federal, state, and local accessibility laws. Josh established that the client could never have violated the law because it offered a way for individuals to request accommodations or modifications to policies, practices, and procedures, and the plaintiff never took advantage of that opportunity to engage the client.
  • Resolved a significant regulatory accessibility investigation for a global cruise line. Josh reached a comprehensive, landmark agreement to enhance his client’s existing accessibility policies, practice, and procedures. In his extensive negotiations with the regulators, Josh offered new and creative approaches to resolving concerns that were supported by architectural designs and economic data. He continues to manage the related long-term compliance program, overseeing audits, developing policies and training, and providing day-to-day and long-term planning counseling. 
  • Resolved a relentless onslaught of website accessibility and mobile application accessibility lawsuits and demand letters for hundreds of clients, including global high-end retail companies, technology firms, sports and media companies, and hotels. Josh promptly negotiated cost-effective resolutions to the cases and demand letters with highly advantageous terms to allow his clients to focus their time and resources on enhancing their accessibility compliance.
  • Serves as accessibility counsel for national sports leagues and related clubs, and stadiums/arenas, providing guidance in all facets of their business, from their policies to adoption of new technology, to hosting major public events, the COVID-19 pandemic, location auditing, and compliance training.
Education
  • Harvard Law School (J.D., 2000)
  • Cornell University (B.S., 1997)
    • School of Industrial & Labor Relations
Bar Admissions
  • New York
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Recognition
  • The Legal 500 United States: Workplace and Employment Counseling (2016 to 2018), Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense (2018 to 2020)