A popular Fairfield County restaurant has agreed to make a myriad of changes in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
U.S. Attorney John Durham announced that his office will issue a Letter of Resolution to Hacienda Don Manuel in Brookfield to resolve allegations that the restaurant was inaccessible to patrons with mobility disabilities.
The Letter of resolution will resolve a complaint filed by a person with mobility disabilities who alleged that Hacienda Don Manuel’s bar counter was inaccessible to individuals in wheelchairs and that Hacienda Don Manuel failed to provide Happy Hour services to people in wheelchairs who were seated at the restaurant.
In response, Hacienda Don Manuel will design and construct a fully accessible bar counter with a low section for individuals who use wheelchairs within the next six months. Additionally, Hacienda Don Manuel will institute a new written policy regarding the provision of Happy Hour specials to those with disabilities who may need to sit at tables within the restaurant. Lastly, Hacienda Don Manuel will train managers, bartenders and staff on the new policy and on the provision of services to individuals with disabilities.
Durham noted that 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.”
According to Durham, the restaurant’s owners have worked collaboratively with authorities to address concerns regarding the ADA and to make the restaurant more accessible to disabled patrons.
“We appreciate that Hacienda Don Manuel’s ownership and management cooperated during our investigation and we commend their prompt action to ensure the restaurant’s compliance with the ADA.”
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