U.S. Attorney's Office Reaches ADA Settlement with Connecticut and Pennsylvania Child Care Centers
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 Bradford Child Care Services, Inc., which owns Tender Care Learning Centers (“Tender Care”), to resolve allegations that Tender Care was not operating in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”). Tender Care provides child care services at more than 20 locations in Connecticut and western Pennsylvania.
The settlement agreement addresses an ADA complaint filed by the parents of a child with epilepsy alleging that Tender Care established a policy to prevent staff from administering prescribed emergency rescue medication. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Tender Care will implement new nondiscriminatory policies, practices and procedures regarding the administration of medication for children with disabilities who wish to attend their day care centers, camp, before care program, after care program or any other educational programs owned or operated by Tender Care in the United States. Tender Care also will train its managers, teachers and other staff on compliance with Title III of the ADA. Additionally, Tender Care will evaluate each request for reasonable modifications on an individualized basis, relying on objective evidence and current medical standards and will adopt, maintain and enforce an Emergency Anti-Seizure Medication Administration (EASMA) Policy and Procedure. The revised materials for parents of children with disabilities will be posted in a general location at the center and will post to its website the nondiscrimination policy approved by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Tender Care also has agreed to pay a total of $20,000 in compensatory damages to certain individuals identified during the government’s investigation of this matter.
Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including learning centers and other places of education and recreation, 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 counsel and management of Tender Care were cooperative with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and are committed to addressing the issues raised by the ADA investigation without litigation.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ndidi N. Moses of the District of Connecticut in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
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).
The Justice Department also has a Civil Rights Reporting Portal, an online tool that allows the public to report a civil rights violation. The Reporting Portal – located at www.civilrights.justice.gov – is fully accessible to people with disabilities. It is also available in both English and Spanish, with more languages to be added in the future.
Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of civil rights violations should contact the department by visiting www.civilrights.justice.gov. Those who believe they are a victim of criminal violation of their civil rights, such as misconduct by law enforcement officers, a hate crime, or human trafficking, should contact their local FBI office.