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FEDS: Rochester hotel chain resolves ADA compliance charges with new policies, fines

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SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT REACHED WITH HOTEL CHAIN INVOLVING ALLEGED VIOLATION OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

BUFFALO, NY – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement with the DelMonte Hotel Group to resolve allegations that a hotel in the group discriminated against an individual with a disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

The complainant, an individual with Parkinson’s disease who uses a wheelchair, stayed for two nights at a DelMonte Hilton on Celebration Drive, in Rochester, NY. She alleges that while an accessible room was reserved, no clean, accessible rooms were available when she arrived. The complainant further alleges that the room she was provided had no fixed seat in the bathtub, forcing her to shower sitting on the floor of the bathtub. When she asked for a chair or bench, the complainant alleges that hotel staff provided a plastic chair, which she sat on to take showers, at great risk.

Under the settlement reached, the DelMonte Hotel Group will provide a report and photos every six months until the issue with respect to accessible bathrooms has been corrected; provide copies of any complaint received during the reporting period alleging that it did not comply with the ADA or otherwise discriminated against any person on the basis of disability; and cooperate with all requests by the United States to access DelMonte hotels in Western New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and for information and documents concerning DelMonte’s compliance with the agreement and the ADA. DelMonte will complete all necessary changes within 18 months,  pay $7,500 to the complainant, and pay a civil penalty to the United States.

The agreement also calls for DelMonte to train staff who work at its hotels in Western New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio on the ADA. DelMonte must also implement and enforce a written policy regarding ADA compliance at these hotels.

The Department of Justice’s enforcement efforts under the ADA seek equal opportunity and dignity in all aspects of life, including access to public accommodations such as hotel rooms. 

Individuals who believe they may have been victims of discrimination may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at  (716) 843-5700 or file a complaint with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division at: https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/. Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Department of Justice’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TDD).

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. B. Bobseine, Civil Rights Coordinator in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo, New York.

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