- 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, with the United States Department of Justice (Department) against Dr. Joseph Elie and the McNichols Clinic, Ltd. The complaint alleged that Dr. Elie and his office staff failed to provide a sign language interpreter for a patient.
- The McNichols Clinic, Ltd. ("Clinic") is a professional office of a health care provider in Dixon, Illinois. It is a public accommodation covered by title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12181(7)(f).
- The Department of Justice is authorized to investigate complaints under title III of the ADA and to bring suit in particular cases. 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12188.
- The parties have agreed to resolve this matter as set forth below, without adjudication of any factual and legal disputes.
- The Clinic agrees to provide to participants in its programs and to members of the public appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, upon reasonable notice and when necessary to ensure effective communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The Clinic will provide aids or services at its own expense, unless to do so would constitute a fundamental alteration of its services or result in an undue financial or administrative burden.
- The Clinic will develop a written policy and set of procedures implementing ï½¶5 within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement. The document will be integrated into any existing, written policies and procedures and copies will be distributed to all staff and provided to members of the public upon request.
- The Clinic adopts the following nondiscrimination policy:
The McNichols Clinic will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of hearing impairment or other disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its services and products. Prohibited discrimination includes refusing to treat an individual on the basis of disability.
Copies of the nondiscrimination policy will be prominently posted at the reception desks of all Clinic locations. Copies of the policy will also be made available to any individual upon request. A copy is also attached to this Settlement Agreement.
- Copies of the nondiscrimination policy adopted under ï½¶ 7 will be distributed to all employees of the Clinic within 5 days of the effective date of this Agreement. In order to ensure that all Clinic employees understand and comply with the policy, training to explain the nondiscrimination policy will be held within 15 days of the effective date of this Agreement. All Clinic employees are required to attend. A copy of the policy and procedures will also be submitted to the Department of Justice within 40 days of the Agreement's effective date.
- Within 20 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Clinic will compensate the complainant in this matter by sending a certified check in the amount of $ 250.00
by certified mail to the address provided by the Department. The Clinic will also send a copy of the check and transmittal letter to the Department.
- In consideration of the promises made in ï½¶ï½¶ 5 through 9, the Department agrees to close the investigation of complaint DJ# 202-23-63 and to refrain from bringing a civil action against the Clinic.
- 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 the Clinic of the possible violation and a period of 10 days in which the Clinic has the opportunity to cure the alleged violation.
- The parties stipulate that, if the Department sues under ï½¶11 and prevails, the Department will seek to assess the Clinic with a civil penalty as authorized by 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12188(b)(2)(C), within 10 days of the entry of judgement.
- 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 the document or any information contained in it may be made available 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 here, 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 the Clinic's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA.
- The person signing this document for the Clinic represents that he or she is authorized to bind the Clinic to this Agreement.
FOR THE UNITED STATES:
By: _____________________________ Date:____________
John L. Wodatch, Chief
L. Irene Bowen, Deputy
Susan Reilly, Supervisory Attorney
Thomas Esbrook, Investigator
Disability Rights Section
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035
FOR MCNICHOLS CLINIC, LTD.:
By: _____________________________ Date:____________
McNichols Clinic, Ltd.
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