A. BACKGROUND AND PARTIES
1. The parties to this Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”) are the United States of America and Rieck Avenue Country Day School, Inc. (“Day School”), located at 250 Rieck Avenue, Millville, New Jersey 08332.
2. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed with the United States Department of Justice (the “Department”) by the complainant, on behalf of her daughter, against the Day School. The complainant alleges that the Day School refused to enroll her daughter in the Day School’s 2003 summer program on the basis of her disability. The complainant’s daughter was seven years old at the time of the attempted enrollment; she has epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
3. The Department is authorized to investigate alleged violations of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Â§ 12181-12189, and to bring a civil action in federal court if the Department is unable to secure voluntary compliance in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance. 42 U.S.C. Â§ 12188(b).
4. The Day School is a full service day care facility offering a summer program for children from age two to ten. It is a place of public accommodation covered by title III of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. Â§ 12181(7).
5. The ADA prohibits public accommodations from discriminating against an individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods and services. 42 U.S.C. Â§ 12182(a). Ensuring that public accommodations which provide day care services do not discriminate on the basis of disability is an issue of general public importance.
6. The Parties agree to resolve this matter as set forth below.
B. TERMS OF AGREEMENT
7. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Day School agrees to adopt the nondiscrimination policy, attached as Appendix A, and to include that policy in the Day School’s employee and parent handbooks.
8. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Day School agrees to provide appropriate training to its management and staff on the rights and obligations of child care providers with regard to individuals with disabilities, and to provide new employees hired during the term of this Agreement with comparable training.
9. Within one hundred twenty (120) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Day School will submit a report to the Department concerning compliance with paragraphs 7 and 8 of this Agreement.
10. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Day School will send to the complainant by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by Federal Express, the release form attached as Appendix B. Within thirty (30) days of receiving the signed release form, the Day School shall send to the complainant by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by Federal Express, a check for $4,000 (Four thousand dollars). Simultaneous to the mailing of the check, the Day School shall provide to the United States a copy of the check and the signed release.
11. Provided that the Day School fully complies with all terms of this Agreement, the United States agrees to close the investigation of the underlying complaint, D.J. No. 202-48-133, and to refrain from bringing a civil action against the Day School regarding any alleged violation in that complaint.
C. ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
12. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes 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 Day School of possible violations and a period of thirty (30) days in which the Day School has the opportunity to cure the alleged violations.
13. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any of its provisions or deadlines shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department’s right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
14. This Agreement shall be binding on the Day School and the successors in interest of the Day School. The Day School has a duty to notify all such successors in interest of the existence and terms of this Agreement.
15. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be made available to any person by the Day School or the Department upon request.
16. 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 shall be enforceable.
17. 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 Day School’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
18. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
19. This Agreement shall be in effect for two years from the effective date of this Agreement, or until the parties agree that full compliance with this Agreement by the Day School has been achieved, if the latter takes longer than two years.
20. The person signing this document for the Day School represents that he is authorized to bind the Day School to this Agreement.
PETER BYBEL, JR., President
Rieck Avenue Country Day School, Inc.
250 Rieck Avenue
Millville, New Jersey 08332
Disability Rights Section - NYA
For the United States of America:
R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Deputy Chief
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE, Trial Attorney
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY UNDER
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
In accordance with the requirements of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Rieck Avenue Country Day School will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability. Rieck Avenue Country Day School will not exclude any individual with a disability from the full and equal enjoyment of its services and facilities, unless the individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services. Rieck Avenue Country Day School will not exclude any individual from the full and equal enjoyment of its services and facilities because of the individual’s association with a person with a disability. Rieck Avenue Country Day School will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when such modifications are necessary to afford its services and facilities to individuals with disabilities, unless the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of its services.
I, ___________________________________, on behalf of my daughter,_____________, hereby release and discharge Rieck Avenue Country Day School (“Day School”) from any and all claims relating to or arising from the Day School’s actions with regard to my daughter’s attempted enrollment in the Day School’s 2003 summer program. I am providing this release as part of the Agreement reached between the Day School and the United States resolving my complaint, DJ #202-48-133. I acknowledge that I have had the opportunity to discuss this matter with counsel of my choosing.