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View Diary: The Responsibilities of Handling Service Dogs (21 comments)

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  •  WalMart has been under a DoJ settlement agreement (4+ / 0-)

    dated 16 January 2009. For details see SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND WAL-MART STORES, INC. and there is no excuse as these paragraphs show (my emphasis):

    14. Within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this Agreement, Wal-Mart will begin distributing the Policy attached as Attachment A to all People Greeters, Store Managers, and Assistant Store Managers through a Computer-Based Learning (“CBL”) module with distribution to be completed within one hundred twenty (120) days of the effective date of this Agreement. Thereafter, Wal-Mart will require all new People Greeters, Store Managers, and Assistant Store Managers not previously trained on the Policy to access the CBL module within ten (10) days of the date on which they assume their new positions. Further, within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this Agreement, Wal- Mart will post a copy of this Policy on its website in a location that is easy for customers with disabilities to find, in a format accessible to persons with disabilities (i.e., HTML format), and in all Wal-Mart Stores in a conspicuous location where associates can readily read the Policy, such as the employee lounge. The posted Policy shall be printed in a bold font no smaller than 16 points on a contrasting background and shall include an image designed by Wal-Mart of a person with a disability who uses a service dog. The heading on the posted Policy (“WAL-MART STORES, INC., POLICY REGARDING SERVICE ANIMALS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES”) shall be printed in capital letters in a bold font no smaller than 20 points. Physical copies of the posted Policy will be refreshed, as needed, for the life of this Agreement. Within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the effective date of this Agreement, Wal-Mart will provide the United States with proof of the issuance, communication to associates, and posting of the Policy in all Wal-Mart Stores.

    15. For the life of this Agreement, on an annual basis, Wal-Mart will provide pre-shift instruction regarding the Policy to all Wal-Mart associates who have contact with the public. Such instruction shall provide an overview of the Policy and associates’ responsibilities thereunder, and shall tell associates where the Policy is posted so they may read it. Individual copies of the Policy shall be made available upon request. Wal-Mart will provide the United States with proof that such training occurred.

    So, any infractions are directly counter to the settlement. So:
    27. The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time, including but not limited to testing at any Wal-Mart Stores. If the United States believes that Wal-Mart has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the United States for a modification of the relevant terms, the United States will so notify Wal-Mart in writing, and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the United States is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within thirty (30) days of the date it provides notice to Wal-Mart, it may institute a civil action in federal court to enforce the terms of this Agreement or title III and may, in such action, seek any relief available under law.
    There are quite a few settlements of this particular issue at ADA Settlements and Consent Agreements. Some note "pay a civil penalty of TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($2,500.00) by check made payable to the "United States of America." 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(C)." and a few note the same payment to the party refused service.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:56:11 AM PDT

    •  I stopped going to WalMart (3+ / 0-)

      7 years ago, this judgement is only 4 years old, so I've never tested it.  And frankly, since local stores and Amazon now carry the items I once went to WalMart for, I have no reason to shop there any more.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:07:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I don't go there for other reasons. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noddy, FloridaSNMOM, BachFan, ladybug53

        The other settlements are interesting to read though. In our very diverse area there appears to be some cultural issues with owners and staff, often recent immigrants, not aware and, as some of the settlements show, not willing at the time to listen. Remedy is going to take steady measures like the ones described in "Department of Justice Sues Three of NYC's Top Zagat-Rated Restaurants for ADA Violations" where this hotel industry site notes:

        We are already seeing an increase in public and private enforcement of the ADA. While many are being distracted by pool lifts and other new ADA requirements, private advocacy groups and the DOJ keep banging away on the basics.

        and

        In 2005, the "Manhattan ADA Hotels Initiative" focused on the accessibility of 60 hotels in Manhattan's Time Square Theater District. While most hotels, including our client's property, cooperated with the initiative, completing the surveys and entering into Voluntary Compliance Agreements to bring their properties into compliance, 5 did not. Those 5 were eventually sued by the U.S. Attorneys Office SDNY. In the end, they agreed to substantially the same terms as the hotels that complied voluntarily -- but they suffered civil penalties and expensive litigation, as well.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:23:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I much prefer (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BachFan, ladybug53, TheDuckManCometh

          businesses to privately decide to comply with the law.  I carry a stack of ADA business compliance and access cards and hand them out freely.  I'm always happy to educate them without making a fuss over it.

          The very few times I've had to involve my attorney, it's been mostly as back-up.  We've never had to bring them to the notice of the DoJ - which makes me happy.

          Of course, now that Itzl and I have been partnered for nearly 9 years, we work so seamlessly together that people seem to grasp that we are a team, not some privileged old lady trying to sneak her pampered pet in.

          All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

          by Noddy on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:31:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Voluntary is certainly in their interest as they (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noddy, ladybug53

            will lose and usually with some money penalty along with a formalized reporting requirement. If they are running afoul of some of the state and local law, many even stricter, they could be deep in the do-do.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:44:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, though, because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, ladybug53

      this might help those who do shop WalMart...

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:08:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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