SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND

BEACH BABIES LEARNING CENTER, L.L.C.
OLD SAYBROOK, CONNECTICUT

UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

DJ # 202-14-98



  1. The Parties to this Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”) are the United States of America (“United States“) and Beach Babies Learning Center, LLC, (“Beach Babies” or “Center”).

  2. The United States is authorized to investigate alleged violations of title III of the ADA, and to bring a civil action in federal court if the United States is unable to secure voluntary compliance in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or that raises issues of general public importance. 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b).
  3. The Center is a place of public accommodation covered by title III of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(K); 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
  4. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA“), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181 et seq., with the United States Department of Justice against the Center.
  5. In the complaint, Ali and Josh Linkov (the “Complainants” or Linkovs) alleged that Beach Babies discriminated against the Linkov’s son, who has autism, by excluding him from participation in and denying him the benefits of its services, and by subjecting him to discrimination on the basis of disability. It was further alleged that Beach Babies subjected Ali and Josh Linkov, who are known to have a relationship or association with a person with a disability, to discrimination by denying them equal services that were offered to parents of children without disabilities.
  6. In response to these allegations, Beach Babies denied that it discriminated against the son and the parents on the basis of disability. Beach Babies further contended that it made reasonable efforts to accommodate the Complainants’ son’s disabilities, but that to comply with alleged continual requests for “changes in the child’s schedule/program” constituted a fundamental alteration of the Center’s programs.
  7. Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations from discriminating against an individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods and services. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a); 28 C.F.R. § 36.201. Title III prohibits public accommodation from failing or refusing to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures as necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the public accommodation can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the services. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(ii); 28 C.F.R. § 36.302. Title III also prohibits public accommodations from discriminating against an individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the individual is known to have a relationship or association. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(E); 28 C.F.R. § 36.205. Ensuring that private day care centers do not discriminate against persons with autism and their parents is an issue of general public importance. 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(1)(B).
  8. The parties now desire to resolve this matter consistent with this Agreement, including all matters in controversy between them which were, or could have been asserted in the Complaint.
  9. Beach Babies’ participation in this Settlement Agreement shall not constitute or be construed as an admission of liability. Beach Babies expressly denies that it has violated any law, engaged in any practice of discrimination or denied equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities or those associated with such individuals.
  10. In consideration of the terms of this Settlement Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further action in this case, except as provided in Section O.
  11. Consistent with the ADA, Beach Babies will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its services by refusing or failing to making reasonable modifications in its services whenever necessary to avoid discrimination.
  12. Beach Babies will adopt, maintain, and enforce the policy attached hereto, and by reference incorporated herein, as Exhibit 1 to this Agreement on prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability. Within ten (10) days of the effective date of this Agreement, Beach Babies will post a copy of the policy in a conspicuous area of the Center where members of the public can readily read the policy. Within twenty (20) days of the effective date of this Agreement, Beach Babies will include on its website (http://www.beachbabiesllc.com) a statement of the policy.
  13. As consideration for the parties’ mutual agreement to be bound by the terms of this Agreement, and whereas the parties desire to settle all matters in controversy between them, Beach Babies agrees to pay the Complainants the sum of seven thousand three hundred and forty one dollars ($7,341.00). Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, (counsel for) Beach Babies will send a copy of this Agreement and Exhibits 2 and 3, hereto attached, to the Linkovs by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by Federal Express. The Complainants must return an executed Release of All Claims, Exhibit 3, to (counsel for) Beach Babies within thirty (30) days of receipt of said documents. Beach Babies will send the undersigned counsel for the United States a copy of Exhibits 2 and 3 when they are sent to the Linkovs.
  14. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the signed Release of All Claims, Beach Babies will issue or cause to be issued, a draft in the amount of seven thousand three hundred and forty one dollars ($7,341.00) and will have it sent to the Complainants, by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by Federal Express. Beach Babies will provide to the United States a copy of the draft and transmittal letter sent to the complainants.
  15. The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the United States believes that Beach Babies has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the United States for a modification of the relevant terms, the United States will so notify Beach Babies in writing and the Parties will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the United States is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within thirty (30) days of the date it provides notice to Beach Babies, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement or the requirements of title III of the ADA.
  16. Failure by the United States to enforce this Agreement with respect to any deadline or other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of the United States' right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  17. A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be made available to any person on request by Beach Babies or the United States.
  18. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the Parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement (including its Attachments, which are hereby incorporated by reference), will be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect Beach Babies’ continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  19. This Agreement shall be binding on Beach Babies, its agents and employees. In the event Beach Babies seeks to transfer or assign all or part of its interest in the day care center, and the successor or assign intends on carrying on the same or similar use of the facility, as a condition of sale, Beach Babies shall obtain the written agreement of the successor or assign to comply with any obligations remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement.
  20. This Agreement will remain in effect for three (3) years.
  21. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

FOR THE BEACH BABIES LEARNING CENTER, LLC: FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

 

 

BY: _________________________
ALLISON L. McCARTHY
210 Boston Post Road
Old Saybrook, CT 06475

 

THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

SAMUEL R. BAGENSTOS
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

ALLISON J. NICHOL, Chief
RENEE M. WOHLENHAUS, Deputy Chief
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE, Acting Special Legal Counsel
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division

__________________________
ROBERT J. MATHER, Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
Telephone: (202) 307-2236
Fax: (202) 616-6862
robert.mather@usdoj.gov

 

Dated: __________________________ Dated:June 28 2011

EXHIBIT 1

POLICY ON PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY

Beach Babies Learning Center, LLC, will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability with regard to the full and equal enjoyment of the services at the Center. Beach Babies will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when the modifications are necessary to afford services to individuals with disabilities, unless Beach Babies can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of its services.