- This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ï½§ï½§ 12181-12189, and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, with the United States Department of Justice (Department) against Imperial Limousines, Limited, Oak Park, Illinois (Imperial). The complainant alleged that on June 9, 1999, Imperial Limousines refused services to her on the basis of disability. The complainant has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and uses a wheelchair and a service animal because of her disability. The complainant alleges that she paid Imperial for transportation services in advance and was required to pay an additional surcharge because she uses a wheelchair. The complainant alleges that despite these prior arrangements, Imperial's driver refused to pick her up at the airport when he saw that she used a service animal.
- The ADA applies to Imperial because it is a private entity that provides transportation services. 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12184.
- The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of public transportation services provided by a private entity that is primarily engaged in the business of transporting people and whose operations affect commerce. 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12184 (a).
- Imperial is subject to the Department of Transportation regulations that prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in connection with the provision of transportation services, including denial of service and the imposition of special charges upon those who use wheelchairs . 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12186(1)(1); 49 C.F.R. Section 37.5
- The Department of Justice is authorized to investigate certain complaints under title III of the ADA and to bring a civil action should it find a violation and fail to secure voluntary compliance. 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12188 (b) (1); 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Subpart E.
- The parties have agreed to resolve this matter as set forth below, without adjudication of any factual and legal disputes.
- Imperial agrees that it will not discriminate against persons with disabilities on the basis of disability and will provide equal opportunity to acquire the transportation services provided by the company.
- Imperial will adopt the attached Policy On Providing Equal Opportunity to Persons with Disabilities and Non-discrimination Notice within five days of the effective date of this Agreement. Imperial will integrate the documents into any written policies and procedures that Imperial has in place.
- Imperial will prominently post copies of the Policy and Notice in its offices and make them available to any individual upon request.
- Imperial will distribute copies of the Policy and Notice adopted under ï½¶ 8 to all appropriate employees, including all drivers and reservation agents, within 5 days of the effective date of this Agreement and ensure that all employees understand and comply with the documents.
- Within 45 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Imperial will submit to the Department: 1) a list of the locations at which copies of the Policy and Notice are posted;
2) certification that all appropriate employees have been trained on the Policy and Notice.
- Imperial shall maintain written records of all requests and reservations for accessible transportation. Such records shall include the person's name; point of pick-up; date and time of reservation or request; and any other identifying information, such as the customer's address and/or telephone number, that the company normally requires of its customers. Imperial will provide copies of these records to the Department of Justice beginning six months after the effective date of this Agreement and every six months for the prior six month period for a period of one year from the effective date of this Agreement.
- Within 10 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Imperial will send a letter of apology and compensate the complainant in this matter by sending a certified check in the amount of $50.00 by certified mail to the address provided by the Department, with a copy of the letter and check sent to the Department.
- In consideration of the promises made in ï½¶ï½¶ 7 through 13, the Department agrees to close the investigation of complaint DJ# 202-23-76 and to refrain from bringing a civil action against Imperial.
- The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department determines that this Agreement, or any of its requirements, has been violated, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce this Agreement or the requirements of title III, following written notice to Imperial of the possible violation and a period of 10 days during which Imperial has the opportunity to cure the alleged violation.
- Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
- This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person upon request. Imperial shall provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request.
- The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
- This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written agreement, will be enforceable.
- This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth above and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect Imperial's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA.
- This Agreement will remain in effect for three years from its effective date.
- The person signing this document for Imperial represents that he is authorized to bind Imperial to this Agreement.
FOR IMPERIAL LIMOUSINES, LTD.
By: ____________________________ Date:____________
FOR THE UNITED STATES:
BILL LANN LEE
Assistant Attorney General
By: ____________________________ Date:____________
JOHN L. WODATCH, CHIEF
Allison Nichol, Deputy Chief
Susan B. Reilly, Supervisory Attorney
Thomas Esbrook, Investigator
Disability Rights Section
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035
PROVIDING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Non-discrimination Policy. It is the policy of Imperial Limousines, Limited (Imperial) that it does not discriminate against persons with disabilities in the provision of its transportation services. Imperial will provide for full and equal opportunity for persons with disabilities, including persons who use wheelchairs and persons who use service animals, to participate in all company programs and services. The company's employees will ensure that all persons with disabilities are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner and are afforded the same service and courtesy as that afforded to any customer. Specifically, Imperial reconfirms its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to:
- permit service animals on board its limousines and in any of the Company's facilities that are open to its customers. A "service animal" is any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself;
- charge no extra fees for transport of wheelchairs or service animals used by persons with disabilities.
- under no circumstances shall an individual with a disability be treated in a discriminatory manner in the provision of any services offered to the public;
- all individuals, with or without disabilities, shall be subject to the same reservation policy. Imperial's policy is readily available to the general public and posted in conspicuous places at all company locations open to the public;
- all customers are requested to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance. Reservations made at least 24 hours in advance for a specific pick-up time are guaranteed for that time pending limousine availability. Requests for accessible transportation without at least 24 hours advance reservations will be guaranteed within 90 minutes of the request for accessible transport pending limousine availability;
- all potential customers and travel agents inquiring into transportation services with Imperial, whether by telephone or in writing, shall be informed of the existence of accessible transportation. All advertisements, including any company information that is or may be available through the Internet, shall indicate the availability of accessible transportation;
- all company drivers will be trained on a regular basis on their responsibilities to provide accessible transportation to persons with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs or service animals.
- all company reservation agents and other personnel who assist customers will be trained in the company's nondiscrimination and reservations policies;
Responsible Person(s). _____________ is designated as Imperial's ADA Coordinator and will be responsible for ensuring that its policies and practices are in compliance with the ADA, that all company employees are aware of Imperial's ADA policies, and to respond to any inquiries or complaints about the company's compliance. ________ can be reached by calling (708) _____
Grievance Procedures. If the requesting individual is dissatisfied with the response to a request for assistance, auxiliary aids and services, or other modifications, the individual should contact the ADA Coordinator within five days of the incident. The ADA Coordinator will attempt to resolve the grievance within 30 days.>