Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And Menard, Inc.

COMPLAINT NUMBER 202-85-14

INTRODUCTION
  1. This matter was initiated pursuant to a complaint received by the United States Department of Justice alleging a violation of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12181-12188, against Menard, Inc. (Menard), a building supply retail chain, headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The complainant, Ms. XXX XXX, who is legally blind, and her husband, were shopping at the Menard Building Center located at 8365 N. 76th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on February 15, 1997. Ms. XXX alleges Menard refused to accept her Wisconsin State Identification card as proof of identification in place of a driver's license when she attempted to write a check for building supplies. Despite her appeals to a head cashier, service manager, and store manager, Ms. XXX alleges that her husband had to come and show his driver's license in order for the store to approve the purchase.

    The Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice ("the Department"), has investigated the complaint under title III of the ADA;

JURISDICTION AND PARTIES TO SETTLEMENT

  1. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America ("United States") and Menard;
  2. Menard is a privately owned and operated retail business. Therefore, it is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of title III of the ADA. See 42 U.S.C. ァ 12181(7)(A); 28 C.F.R. ァ 36.104;
  3. Title III of the ADA requires public accommodations to reasonably modify their policies when necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the services provided. 28 C.F.R. ァ 36.302. Acceptance of a State ID is a reasonable modification of a general policy requiring presentation of a driver's license when paying by check;
  4. The subject of this Agreement is the failure of Menard to accept the State ID of Ms. XXX, who is legally blind, in place of a driver's license so that she could pay for purchases by check. In the course of our review of this matter, Menard provided a copy of a written policy dated November 10, 1993, stating that State-issued identification cards should be equally acceptable as driver's licenses for purposes of identification when customers are writing checks;
  5. Menard denies that it has violated title III of the ADA, and this Agreement does not represent, and should not be construed to represent, an admission of liability by Menard. Nonetheless, in the interest of settling this matter, the Department and Menard have entered into this Agreement;

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY MENARD

  1. Menard will continue to maintain its policy that State ID cards will be accepted as identification for check-writing purposes from persons who do not drive because of their disabilities, in the same manner and circumstances as driver's licenses are accepted as identification;
  2. Within 90 days of the effective date this Agreement, Menard shall ensure that this State ID policy is understood by providing notice in writing of the policy to all employees at Menard retail locations who have any responsibilities for taking or receiving checks from customers. Menard shall also conduct and complete within 90 days a training program to the same effect, explaining by oral and written communication its check-writing policy and any operational issues which its employees need to know to accept State ID cards at its cash registers. To ensure that all Menard employees who have any responsibilities for taking or receiving checks from customers understand the check identification policy, Menard will require all these employees to sign a written statement that they are familiar with and understand this policy within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement. After that 90-day period, Menard shall have a continuing obligation to advise new employees who have any responsibilities for taking or receiving checks from customers of its policy to accept State ID cards for identification in the same manner and circumstances as driver's licenses are accepted;
  3. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Menard shall provide notice to customers that it accepts State ID cards as identification for check-writing purposes from persons who do not drive because of their disabilities by posting signs to reflect this policy at all cash registers at Menard retail locations;
  4. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Menard shall tender payment in the amount of $1000 in cash to Mrs. XXX XXX, and will provide an apology to Ms. XXX for the alleged incident that occurred on February 15, 1997;
  5. Within 110 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Menard will submit a report to the United States certifying that it has taken the steps required above to comply with this Agreement. The report shall provide: 1) a written statement certifying that all employees at Menard retail locations who have any responsibilities for taking or receiving checks from customers have received notice of the check identification policy by written and oral communication; 2) a written statement certifying that all employees at Menard retail locations who have any responsibilities for taking or receiving checks from customers have signed the written statement stating that they are familiar with and understand this policy; 3) a copy of the check issued to Mrs. XXX as well as certification that an apology has been issued to her;

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THIS AGREEMENT

  1. The Attorney General is authorized, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188(b)(1)(B), to bring a civil action to enforce title III of the Act in any situation where the Attorney General finds a pattern or practice of discrimination or an issue of general public importance. In consideration of the terms of this agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit under title III in this matter;
  2. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it may institute a civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this agreement in an appropriate federal court;
  3. A failure by the Department to enforce any term of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce any other portion of this Agreement;
  4. This Agreement is a public document. Copies of this document may be made available to any person at any time.
  5. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below. This Agreement shall be binding on the ownership of Menard. The ownership has a duty to notify any successors in interest.
  6. This document 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 the agents of either party that is not contained in this written agreement, shall be enforceable. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth in the agreement, and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect the continuing responsibility of the Menard to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

For Menard, Inc.:

__________________________      Date________________
DAVID CORIDEN, Vice
President, General Counsel

For the United States:

__________________________      Date________________
JOHN WODATCH, Chief
RENEE WOHLENHAUS, Acting Deputy Chief
EVE HILL, Supervising Attorney
ROBB WOLFSON, Investigator
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738
(202) 307-0663

Updated August 30, 2016

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Yes No