SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Department of Justice announced today it has reached a settlement agreement pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the Economy Inn, located in Kankakee, Illinois, to resolve alleged violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department reached the agreement with Prakash Patel, who owns and operates the hotel. The agreement requires that the hotel rent rooms and provide equal service to customers with disabilities.
The settlement resolves an ADA complaint alleging that when an individual with a disability attempted to check in at the hotel, the hotel refused to rent a room to the individual. A hotel employee allegedly told the individual that it was the hotel’s policy not to rent rooms to “people on walkers and wheelchairs” because the hotel could not be “liable” for them. The complaint alleged the individual had nowhere else to stay at the time.
The complaint prompted an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. The ADA requires that hotels provide access to individuals with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs, walkers, or other devices to assist with movement.
“It is illegal for people with disabilities to be treated differently because of their disability and that includes when renting a room from a hotel,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua I. Grant for the Central District of Illinois. “People with disabilities often face barriers that make living more difficult, but one barrier that should no longer exist is simply finding a place to stay. I encourage all hotels in the Central District of Illinois to review their policies and facilities to ensure they are accessible to all.”
Under the agreement, the hotel will establish written policies ensuring that individuals with disabilities can rent rooms from the hotel and enjoy equal access to its services. The hotel will also provide ADA training to its staff. Without admitting violating the ADA, the district also agreed to a monetary payment to the individual identified in the complaint to fully resolve the matter.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant represented the government during the investigation and settlement process. For more information about the ADA, please visit www.ada.gov, or call the Department of Justice’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD). Information about filing a complaint, including instructions for filing a complaint online, can be found at https://www.justice.gov/crt/how-file-complaint.