SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND JANT, LLC d/b/a BROOKSIDE BAR AND GRILL
DJ # 202-14-282

The parties to this agreement (“Agreement”) are the United States of America and JANT, LLC, d/b/a Brookside Bar and Grill in Higganum, Connecticut. The parties hereby agree as follows:

BACKGROUND

  1. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, a component of the United States Department of Justice (the “United States”), opened an investigation of the Brookside Bar and Grill, 26 Killingworth Road, Higganum, Connecticut, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181- 12189, as amended.
  2. The United States initiated its investigation upon the receipt of a complaint from an individual with a disability who alleged that, on at least two occasions, when entering Brookside Bar and Grill with her service animal, the complainant was approached by a waitress and the owner of the restaurant who asked the complainant to produce identification and certification for her service animal, and on at least one occasion was asked to leave.
  3. The Brookside Bar and Grill denies that it did not permit the complainant to remain in the restaurant with her service animal, but admits that they did ask to see a certificate or identification for the service animal, because at the time of the incident(s), the owner did not believe the dog was a service animal. 
  4. The United States is authorized to investigate alleged violations of Title III of the ADA. Moreover, the United States is authorized, where appropriate, to use alternative means of dispute resolution, including settlement negotiations, to resolve disputes. If resolution is not achieved, the United States may bring a civil action in federal court in any case where the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a pattern or practice of discrimination exists or where the case raises an issue of general public importance. 42 U.S.C. §§ 12188(b), 12212; 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.502, 36.503, 36.506.
  5. Title III of the ADA prohibits 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. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a). 28 CFR § 36.201(a).
  6. The Brookside Bar and Grill, which is a food and beverage service establishment, is a place of public accommodation covered by Title III of the ADA.42 U.S.C §§ 12181(7)(E), (F); 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.104(5), (6). As the owner and operator of the Brookside Bar and Grill, JANT, LLC is a public accommodation covered by Title III of the ADA.  28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
  7. The ADA requires that, generally, public accommodations modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of service animals by persons with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(ii); 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(a), (c).
  8. Title III permits only two inquiries by a public accommodation to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. The public accommodation may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform, except a public accommodation may not make such inquiries when it is readily apparent that an animal is a service animal trained to do work or perform tasks. 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(c)(7).
  9. Title III prohibits a public accommodation from requiring that an individual with a disability who uses a service animal provide documentation, such as proof that a service animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(c)(7).

REMEDIAL ACTION

General Nondiscrimination Requirement

  1. Consistent with the requirements of Title III of the ADA, the Brookside Bar and Grill will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of any of its goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. Specifically, the Brookside Bar and Grill will modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of service animals by individuals with disabilities.

Service Animal Policy

  1. Within 14 days after the effective date of this Agreement, to ensure equal access for persons with disabilities who use service animals to the Brookside Bar and Grill, JANT, LLC and the Brookside Bar and Grill will:
    1. adopt the Service Animal Policy (“Policy”) attached hereto and incorporated by reference herein as Attachment A to this Agreement;
    2. distribute the Policy to all employees and managers of the Brookside Bar and Grill who have contact with the public;
    3. provide a copy of the Policy to all newly hired Brookside Bar and Grill employees and managers as part of its standard onboarding process for all new hires;
    4. post a copy of this Policy in a conspicuous location where employees can readily read the Policy; and
    5. keep the Policy on hand for any store customers who wish to, upon request, read the Policy.
  2. Wherever required by paragraph 11 above to be posted, displayed or kept on hand, the Policy shall be printed in a dark bold font on a contrasting background in the largest font that fits on two 8.5” by 11” pieces of paper. Physical copies of the posted Policy will be refreshed, as needed, for the life of this Agreement.
  3. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, JANT, LLC will provide written confirmation to the United States of the issuance and communication to employees and the posting of the Policy at the Brookside Bar and Grill.
  4. For the life of this Agreement, on an annual basis, the Brookside Bar and Grill will redistribute the Policy to all store employees and managers who have contact with the public. JANT, LLC will provide the United States with written confirmation of the issuance of this communication to employees.

Training

  1. Within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement, JANT, LLC will ensure that all owners, managers, and employees of Brookside Bar and Grill receive training regarding the ADA requirements regarding individuals with disabilities who use service animals, including a review of the Department’s technical assistance document, Frequently Asked Questions About Service Animals and the ADA, available at: https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html. JANT, LLC will notify the Department when the above training has been completed.
  2. JANT, LLC shall provide such training as described above on an annual basis thereafter for the life of this Agreement.

Signage

  1. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Brookside Bar and Grill will post in a conspicuous location in the public entryway of the store a sign prominently indicating “Service Animals Welcome”. The signage will have a non-glare finish and will be printed in a dark, bold font with a 5/8 inch minimum character height on a contrasting light background. The sign shall be mounted at 40 inches minimum above the finish floor to the baseline of the character and will be refreshed, as needed, for the life of this Agreement.

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF AGREEMENT

  1. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement, the United States agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit for failure to comply with Title III of the ADA at the Brookside Bar and Grill; provided, however, that the United States reserves the right to file a civil lawsuit to enforce this Agreement.
  2. The United States does not assert that this Agreement or the remedial measures contemplated herein will bring the Brookside Bar and Grill into compliance with all aspects of the ADA, and nothing in this Agreement is intended to constitute an interpretation of the legal requirements of the ADA by the United States. Rather, the parties enter into this Agreement for the purpose of compromising disputed claims and avoiding the risk and expenses of litigation. This Agreement is a compromise and it shall not be used or introduced into evidence in any other case or proceeding other than between the parties to this Agreement.
  3. The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time, including but not limited to testing at the Brookside Bar and Grill. If the United States believes that JANT, LLC has violated this Agreement or any requirement thereof, it agrees to notify in writing to Mr. George Mavredakis, Brookside Bar and Grill, 26 Killingworth Road, Higganum, CT 06441 of the specific violation(s) alleged. JANT, LLC shall have 30 days from its receipt of the notice to cure and/or respond in writing to the United States the alleged violation(s).
  4. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person.
  5. Failure by the United States to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed a waiver of the United States’ right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  6. This Agreement shall be binding on JANT, LLC and its agents, employees, contractors, successors, and assigns.
  7. This Agreement, including Attachment A, 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, will be enforceable. This Agreement resolves Department of Justice investigation DJ# 202-14-282 and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect JANT, LLC’s and the Brookside Bar and Grill’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  8. If any provision 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 JANT, LLC shall engage in good faith negotiations in order to adopt such 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.
  9. The person signing this Agreement for JANT, LLC represents that he or she is authorized to bind JANT, LLC and the Brookside Bar and Grill to this Agreement.
  10. This Agreement will remain in effect for two years.
  11. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature.

FOR THE UNITED STATES:

JOHN H. DURHAM
United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut

By: /s/
Ndidi N. Moses
Assistant United States Attorney
157 Church Street, 25th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510

Date: 2/16/21

FOR JANT, LLC d/b/a Brookside Bar and Grill:

By: /s/
Emmanuel Mavredakis
Member

Date: 2/16/21