Oxford Restaurant to Make Changes to Comply with Americans with Disabilities Act
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement agreement with Fritz’s Snack Bar in Oxford to resolve allegations that the restaurant was not operating in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).
The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual with disabilities alleging that Fritz’s Snack Bar was not accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. The restaurant is in the process of making the changes required by the settlement agreement, including adding accessible parking, ensuring that there is an accessible entry route to the restaurant, increasing the number of accessible dining seats within the restaurant and in the patio area, ensuring that the patio area has an accessible entrance, and ensuring that the surface of the patio has a stable, firm and slip resistant surface so that it is accessible for individuals with mobility disabilities. Fritz’s Snack Bar will continue to make improvements over the next nine months.
Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including restaurants, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.
U.S. Attorney Durham noted that the owners of Fritz’s Snack Bar have worked cooperatively and collaboratively with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to address the ADA issues without litigation.
“The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that individuals are able to access and enjoy the state’s restaurants and other places of public accommodation,” stated U.S. Attorney Durham. “Our Office is committed to enforcing the ADA, which requires businesses to appropriately serve the diverse populations of patrons who live, work, and visit Connecticut. We appreciate the cooperation of the owners of Fritz’s Snack Bar and their commitment to increase the accessibility of their restaurant.”
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to persons with disabilities may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.
Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Justice Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY). More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica H. Soufer of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.