A popular chain of discount retailers has agreed to address accessibility issues at stores across the state. Family Dollar Stores settled a federal lawsuit alleging that the company’s 29 Rhode Island stores are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
As party of the agreement, the company will pay a $7,500 civil penalty to the government and correct all violations within six months.
The complaint was filed following an investigation by the Rhode Island United States Attorney General Aaron L. Weisman’s office after several complaint were filed by people with disabilities. The ADA bans all discrimination “on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.” Despite being a private business, Family Dollar falls under the public umbrella of the ADA’s Title III.
According to Weisman’s office, Family Dollar’s Rhode Island locations are not accessible enough for people with disabilities, including aisles, entrances and parking spots.
Family Dollar cooperated with the investigation and agreed to change the placement of their carts, merchandise and other items so they will not hinder accessibility to those with mobility issues, both inside and outside of stores. In addition, an employee will be named an ADA Coordinator and all regional, district and store managers will undergo ADA training within 60 days.