SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND MOTEL 6 OPERATING L.P.

DJ# 202-73-57


  1. BACKGROUND
    1. On August 12, 2004, the United States and Motel 6 Operating, L.P. ("Motel 6") entered into a Settlement Agreement ("2004 Settlement Agreement") to resolve issues concerning Motel 6's compliance with title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12181 et seq.
    2. On January 19, 2006, the parties entered into an Extension of and Addendum to the 2004 Settlement Agreement ("Addendum") that provided Motel 6 certain extensions to complete property renovations required for ADA compliance. At the time of the Addendum, Motel 6 had completed, in a timely manner, the initial requirements of the 2004 Settlement Agreement, including staff ADA training; ADA surveys of each of its facilities; and the development of detailed plans to bring all of its facilities into compliance with ADA requirements.
    3. By 2010, Motel 6 had taken actions at 327 facilities in accordance with the 2004 Agreement and the Addendum. However, in 2010, Motel 6 provided the United States with evidence that, as a result of the economic downturn, Motel 6 was financially unable to continue renovations at the rate outlined in the 2004 Settlement Agreement and the Addendum.
    4. Given Motel 6's efforts to achieve ADA compliance at its facilities pursuant to the 2004 Settlement Agreement and the Addendum, the United States has agreed to enter into a new Settlement Agreement (the "2011 Settlement Agreement" or "Agreement") with Motel 6, which hereby supersedes the 2004 Settlement Agreement and Addendum.
    5. The parties to the 2011 Settlement Agreement are the United States of America and Motel 6 Operating, L.P. ("Motel 6"). The parties hereby agree as follows:
  2. DEFINITIONS
    1. "ADA" means the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., and its implementing regulations.
    2. "Standards" means the applicable provisions of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The term "1991 Standards" means the requirements set forth in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, as originally published on July 26, 1991, and republished as Appendix D to 28 C.F.R. pt. 36. See 28 C.F.R. § 36.104 (definitions). The term "2010 Standards" means the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which consist of the 2004 ADAAG (as set out in appendices B and D to 36 C.F.R. pt. 1191) and the requirements contained in subpart D of 28 C.F.R. pt. 36. See 28 C.F.R. § 36.104 (definitions). The 2010 Standards and accompanying guidance, as well as the 1991 Standards and guidance, can be found in their entirety at www.ada.gov.
    3. "Title III" means title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, and the title III implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36. The revised title III regulation (containing additional and modified rules) took effect on March 15, 2010, and is applicable to the 2011 Settlement Agreement. Compliance with the 2010 Standards is required on and after March 15, 2012. From the effective date of the 2011 Settlement Agreement until March 14, 2012, Motel 6 may choose to comply with either the 1991 Standards or the 2010 Standards, so long as all modifications of the facility required for ADA compliance are completed by March 14, 2012. If modifications to a facility are not completed by March 14, 2012, all modifications to the facility must be made in accordance with the 2010 Standards.
    4. Unless otherwise defined, all terms used in this Agreement have the meaning used in title III, the title III regulation, and the applicable Standards.
    5. "Alterations" and other forms of "alter" mean modification to a facility, which has occurred since January 26, 1992, in a manner that affects or could affect the usability of that facility or part thereof, within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(2)and 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.402 and 403.
    6. "Motel 6" means all motel facilities operating under the trade name Motel 6 and owned or operated by Motel 6 Operating, L.P.
    7. "Dispersal of Guestrooms" refers to the classes of sleeping accommodations including room size, cost, amenities provided, and number of beds provided. See 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, app. D §§ 9.1.4(1) and (2).
  3. FACTS
    1. Motel 6 is a public accommodation because it is a private entity that owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181(6), (7); 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
    2. Before entering into the 2004 Settlement Agreement, the Department of Justice ("United States") undertook a compliance review of Motel 6 facilities owned by Motel 6's parent company, Accor, pursuant to the Attorney General's authority under 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(1)(A)(i) to conduct periodic reviews of compliance of covered entities. As part of its review, the United States conducted architectural surveys of a number of Motel 6 facilities.
    3. During the course of the initial compliance review, and as a result of architectural surveys of Motel 6 facilities, the Department determined that there were architectural barriers to access at every Motel 6 facility surveyed at that time and that each of these facilities violated the title III requirements for new construction, alterations, or barrier removal. Specifically, the Department concluded that several features, elements, and spaces of the Motel 6 facilities were not in compliance with the 1991 Standards.
    4. In order to redress any remaining accessibility issues identified at the facilities that were surveyed by the United States, and to ensure that all Motel 6 facilities owned by Accor are in compliance with title III requirements, Motel 6 agreed to take the steps outlined in section E of this Agreement.
    5. Facilities which have undergone alterations are required to ensure, among other things, that if existing elements, spaces, or common areas are altered, then each such altered element, space, feature, or area shall comply with the applicable provisions of the requirements for new construction. [1] 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(2); 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.402-406. Rather than undertake a case-by-case analysis of every altered facility, Motel 6 has agreed to enter a system-wide settlement that will ensure access at all of its facilities. Because nearly all Motel 6 facilities have undergone one or more renovations during the past 10 years, and because Motel 6 fully supports the ADA and welcomes persons with disabilities at its facilities, Motel 6 has agreed to take steps to make all of its properties accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
    6. The parties agree that the timeline for compliance set out in this Agreement is sufficient to bring Motel 6's properties into compliance with this Agreement and title III requirements by or before February 17, 2017, and Motel 6 expressly agrees that it will not seek an extension of this Agreement.
  4. JURISDICTION
    1. All Motel 6 motels in the United States are places of lodging and are thus places of public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(A) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
    2. The United States enters into this Agreement pursuant to its authority, under 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.503, to enforce title III. The parties enter into this Agreement in order to avoid the burdens and expenses of litigation, and each of the parties agrees that such avoidance of burdens and expenses is sufficient consideration for its undertakings in this Agreement.
  5. CORRECTIVE ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY MOTEL 6
    1. Motel 6 agrees to design and construct new facilities in compliance with the ADA and to ensure that any alterations made to an existing facility are, to the maximum extent feasible, readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities, 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a); 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.402-406.
    2. With regard to all of its properties designed for first occupancy prior to January 26, 1993, Motel 6 will ensure that every such facility, at a minimum, meets the criteria set forth in subparagraphs a through l, of paragraph 23, by no later than February 1, 2017. In fulfilling this obligation, Motel 6 will spend a minimum of $3 million toward ADA compliance by December 2011; will ensure that a minimum of 18 additional properties are brought into full compliance by no later than December 2012; will ensure that a minimum of 35 additional properties are brought into full compliance in each of the remaining years that this Agreement is in place. The amounts set out in this Paragraph are included to illustrate Motel 6's commitment to achieving compliance at all of its facilities and shall not be construed as a limit on the expenditures that Motel 6 may need to make to achieve compliance with title III and this Agreement.
    3. Under the revised regulation, compliance with the 2010 Standards is required on and after March 15, 2012. Except as qualified below, in the interim period (through March 14, 2012), Motel 6 may choose, in each facility, to comply with either the 1991 Standards or the 2010 Standards for that facility, so long as all modifications to a facility are made in accordance with the selected Standards and completed before March 15, 2012.
    1. Designated accessible parking spaces serving the office: Each facility shall have at least one meeting the Standards.
    2. Designated accessible parking spaces serving the designated accessible guestrooms: Each accessible guestroom shall have at least one accessible parking space meeting the Standards.
    3. Entrance doors to office: Each office shall have an accessible entrance meeting the Standards.
    4. Accessible routes from parking spaces to the office: There shall be at least one accessible route meeting the Standards, including any curb ramps along the route, from the accessible parking space to the office.
    5. Curb ramps along the accessible route to accessible guest rooms from accessible parking spaces serving those guestrooms: All curb ramps leading from the accessible parking spaces to accessible guestrooms shall meet the Standards.
    6. Exterior doors to the designated accessible guestrooms: All exterior doors and door hardware in the accessible guestrooms shall meet the Standards.
    7. Identification signs on guestrooms and laundry: All room signs and directional signs shall meet the Standards and be placed in locations that comply with the Standards.
    8. Walkways serving the building(s): The following shall meet the Standards at each motel: (i) all walkways to accessible guestrooms from the office; (ii) all walkways to accessible guestrooms from the accessible parking space designated for that room; and (iii) all walkways from the accessible guestrooms to the common use areas.
    9. Guest laundry room: The walkway to, the entrance into, and the guest laundry room itself shall meet the Standards.
    10. Dispersal of accessible guestrooms: For each type of available guestroom, there shall be a minimum of one accessible guestroom meeting the Standards. In many Motel 6 facilities that were constructed for first occupancy before January 26, 1993, the guestrooms are too small to contain two double beds and to meet the Standards. In these circumstances, if a person with a disability requests an accessible guestroom with two beds, Motel 6 may choose from three options. Specifically, Motel 6 may rent such individual an accessible guestroom and a connecting room, both of which shall be rented together for the price ordinarily charged for one room with two double beds. In situations where there are no connectng rooms that may be linked for this purpose, Motel 6 may offer a guest either (1) two adjacent rooms, or (2) one room that otherwise meets the Standards but has one double (or queen size bed) and one single bed. In each instance, the guest shall be charged only the normal rental rate for one guestroom with two double beds.
    11. Number of accessible guestrooms: Motel 6 will provide the number of accessible guestrooms required by the Standards at each facility, and those rooms shall meet the requirements of the Standards to the maximum extent feasible. Each facility shall have at least one accessible guestroom with a roll-in shower meeting the Standards.
    12. Swimming pool: If a swimming pool is provided, there must be, by March 15, 2014, an accessible route from the office to the swimming pool and an accessible means of entry into the pool that meets the 2010 Standards.
    1. By or before December 31 of each calendar year, Motel 6 will provide the United States with reports demonstrating measurable progress toward compliance with this Agreement. These reports will include, among other things, a list of all properties, or parts thereof, completed in that calendar year.
    2. By January 15, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 respectively, the United States will identify five facilities for which it seeks detailed compliance information. Motel 6 will ensure that an independent consultant (an expert architect or accessibility specialist selected by Motel 6 and acceptable to the United States) conducts surveys of and prepares reports on each of these facilities by April 1 of each year. These reports will identify the Motel 6 motel number and location, the date the motel was constructed, and any and all elements that do not comply with the Standards or this Agreement. In addition, the United States reserves the right to inspect any Motel 6 property upon seven days notice.
  6. ENFORCEMENT AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
    1. By or before May 1, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 respectively, and after the United States (1) has evaluated the five survey reports created that year by an independent consultant hired by Motel 6 and acceptable to the United States, and (2) has also had the opportunity to conduct its own independent evaluation each year of three or more additional Motel 6 facilities, the United States will notify Motel 6 of its determination of whether Motel 6 appears to be – for that particular year – in compliance with this Agreement. In the event that United States determines that Motel 6 is not in compliance with this Agreement, Motel 6 will promptly identify and correct all aspects of its facilities that are not compliant within 90 days of such notification, and the provisions of paragraph 27 will apply.
    2. If the United States determines that Motel 6 is not in compliance with this Agreement or any requirements contained herein, the United States will notify Motel 6 in writing of the alleged noncompliance and attempt to seek a resolution of the matter with Motel 6. If the parties are unable to reach a resolution within 60 days after the date of the United States' written notification, the United States may seek enforcement of the terms of this Agreement in any United States District Court where jurisdiction and venue are proper. In the event that a court determines that Motel 6 has failed to comply with any term in this Agreement, such failure to comply shall be treated as a violation of title III of the ADA and the United States may seek, and the Court may assess, civil penalties as provided in 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(C). For example, a violation of paragraph 23 is a violation for purposes of this provision. Alternatively, should the parties be unable to reach a resolution within 60 days of the date of the United States' written notification, the United States may bring an action to enforce compliance with the ADA and its implementing regulations in any United States District Court where jurisdiction and venue are proper.
    3. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any violations of the ADA or any other federal law that may exist or arise, except as expressly set out in this Agreement. This Agreement does not affect Motel 6's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA and its implementing regulation.
    4. Failure by the United States to enforce any deadline or other provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of the United States' right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
    5. This Agreement shall be binding on Motel 6, its agents, and employees. In the event that Motel 6 seeks to transfer or assign all or part of its interest in any facility covered by this Agreement and the successor or assignee intends to carry on the same or similar use of the facility, Motel 6 shall obtain the written accession of the successor or assignee to any obligations remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement, as a condition of sale.
    6. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties relating to this matters herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by any party or agents of any party that is not contained in this written Agreement, including its attachments, shall be enforceable.
    7. If any term of this Agreement is determined by any court to be unenforceable, the other terms of this Agreement shall nonetheless remain in full force and effect, provided, however, that if the severance of any such provision materially alters the rights or obligations of the parties, the United States and Motel 6 shall engage in good faith negotiations in order to adopt mutually agreeable amendments to this Agreement as may be necessary to restore the parties as closely as possible to the initially agreed upon relative rights and obligations.
    8. This Agreement is effective from the date of the last signature below ("effective date") until August 1, 2017.

For Motel 6 Operating L.P.:

Accor North America
Managing General Partner

By:____________________________
ALAN J. RABINOWITZ
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Motel 6 Operating L.P.
4001 International Parkway
Carrollton, Texas 75007
(972) 360-2530

Date: September 6, 2011

For the United States:

THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

By:____________________________
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Chief
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE, Acting Special Legal Counsel
ALYSE BASS, Senior Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738
(202) 307-2227

Date: September 6, 2011

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[1] In addition to the requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 36.402, an alteration that affects or could affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary function shall be made so as to ensure that, to the maximum extent feasible, the path of travel to the altered area and the restrooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area are readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities, unless such alterations are disproportionate to the overall alterations in terms of cost and scope. 28 C.F.R. § 36.403.

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