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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 21, 2015

U.S. Attorney's Office Conducts Americans with Disabilities Act Review of New Haven Area Hotels

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is nearing completion of a review of hotels in and around New Haven to determine if they are being operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Under federal law, private entities that own or operate “places of public accommodation,” which includes hotels, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability.  The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and to undertake periodic reviews to determine compliance by 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.

As part of a compliance review survey, 12 New Haven area hotels, which were randomly selected, were asked to complete and return a survey form.  Onsite inspections to confirm survey responses were then conducted and each hotel was reviewed for its compliance with federal law.  Six of the surveyed hotels were found to have ADA violations.  The government has been working with the owners and operators of each hotel found in violation in an effort to secure voluntary compliance.  To date, three of the six hotels found in violation, the La Quinta Inn and Suites, Courtyard Marriott and New Haven Hotel, have entered into settlement agreements with the government and are working cooperatively with the government to address the violations.

The government continues to work with the three remaining hotels to secure voluntary compliance agreements and address existing ADA violations.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that residents and visitors alike are able to access and enjoy the state’s hotels and other public accommodations,” stated U.S. Attorney Daly.  “Ensuring these public places are equally accessible to all is essential for businesses to properly serve a diverse population who live, work and visit Connecticut.  We look forward to working with the owners and operators of these hotels as we assess their compliance with federal law and work cooperatively to secure voluntary compliance.”

The hotel survey was conducted in accordance with the Justice Department’s statutory responsibility to review compliance with federal law, and not in response to any specific complaint against any of the hotels within the scope of the review.  Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that a hotel or any other place of public accommodation within the District of 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 Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TDD).  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. Attorneys David Nelson, Vanessa Avery, and Ndidi N. Moses, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Perkins, in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

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Updated May 21, 2015