Westborn Markets and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan reached a settlement Monday after an employee allegedly mistreated a customer with a service animal.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a man with a disability reported through the Civil Rights Hotline that an employee at the Plymouth store demanded written proof that his dog was a service animal and was asked to leave the store when he refused.
An investigation ensued, revealing that no training on service animals was in place at Westborn Markets, according to the release.
In the settlement, the store agreed to institute service animal training for employees at all locations within thirty days of the agreement for three years. The CEO of Westborn Markets was not immediately available for comment.
In this situation, stores may ask only two questions: is the animal required because of a disability, and what work or tasks can the animal perform? To ask for proof or documentation of the service animal is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“People with disabilities who use service animals should not have to suffer through invasive questions or provide written documentation for their dogs in order to go grocery shopping or engage in other activities of daily living,” acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Saima Mohsin, said in the release.
For more information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, call the Justice Department’s toll free ADA Information line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY) or go to www.ada.gov.
Contact Minnah Arshad: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @minnaharshad.
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