U.S. Attorney’s Office Settles ADA Investigation Involving Service Animals at LexLive
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky announced Monday that it has reached a settlement with Big Picture Ventures, the owner and operator of the Lexington entertainment center LexLive, to resolve an allegation that it improperly excluded an individual with a disability accompanied by a service animal.
The investigation began after the U.S. Attorney’s Office received a complaint, from a veteran with a disability who uses a service animal, that alleged that a manager at LexLive’s Corner Bar forced her and her dining companions to leave the bar because she was accompanied by her service animal, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
“Under the ADA, restaurants and bars, as public accommodations, are required to ensure proper access to their customers with disabilities,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “This includes allowing service dogs, which are a necessary means for many with disabilities. We remain committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities have proper access under the ADA, and we are pleased that LexLive has agreed to modify its policies and practices to comply with the Act.”
Under the settlement agreement, LexLive will adopt and implement a service animal policy; provide training on the service animal policy to employees and managers; post the policy in public areas; pay $1,000 in damages to the veteran; and pay a $500 civil penalty to the United States. LexLive cooperated with the government throughout the investigation.
Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including restaurants and bars, are required to modify their policies, practices, or procedures—such as a no pet policy—to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability. A service animal generally may go wherever the public is allowed, and a public accommodation may not require documentation about the service animal.
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Pond, in coordination with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
For more information on the Office’s civil rights efforts, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-edky/civil-rights. ADA complaints may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the U.S. Attorney's Office’s Civil Rights Hotline at (859) 685-4880.
More information about the ADA is available at the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information line at (800) 514 0301 or (800) 514 0383 (TTY) and on the ADA website at www.ada.gov.
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