1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, with the United States Department of Justice (the Department) against Yellow Cab Drivers Association, Inc., of Salt Lake City, Utah (Yellow Cab), 435 South 600 West, Salt Lake City, UT, 84101.
2. In Department of Justice complaint number 202-77-34, a woman who is blind and uses a guide dog filed a complaint with the Department of Justice alleging that she was refused a taxi ride to return home from a grocery store, based on the presence of her service animal. According to a written statement provided by Yellow Cabs dispatcher during the course of the Departments investigation, Driver 252 from Yellow Cab had been dispatched to the store upon an employeess request, went inside, but left as soon as the store employees pointed out that the complainant (with her dog) was his customer. Yellow Cab does not dispute these allegations, but notes that (1) Driver 252 no longer works for Yellow Cab, (2) it has appropriate disciplinary actions, including termination, for drivers who fail to provide service to persons with disabilities who use service animals, and (3) it has clear policies that all new drivers are required to review regarding service to persons with disabilities.
3. The Attorney General is authorized to enforce title III of the ADA by requiring public accommodations to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of service animals by individuals with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2)(A)(ii); 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(c). In addition, the Attorney General may commence a civil action to enforce title III in any situation where the Attorney General believes a pattern or practice of discrimination exists or a matter of general public importance is raised. Id. at § 12188(b)(1)(B).
4. Yellow Cab is in the business of providing transportation services to members of the public, and as such, is a public accommodation within the meaning of title III of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. §12181(10) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104. Yellow Cab is incorporated in the State of Utah and has its principal place of business in Utah.
5. Yellow Cab agrees to undertake modifications, as outlined in this Settlement Agreement (Agreement), to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use service animals, have an opportunity equal to that of non-disabled individuals to services provided by Yellow Cab. In light of this agreement, the parties have determined that Department of Justice complaint 202-77-34 can be resolved without litigation and have prepared and agreed to the terms of this settlement agreement
6. Yellow Cab acknowledges and agrees that:
A. Persons with disabilities may be accompanied by service animals when using Yellow Cabs transportation services.
B. Although persons may be asked if they have a disability, and if an animal is a service animal, and to describe the service the animal provides, they may not be required to show identification or certification of the service animals status or of their own disability.
C. Persons are not required to identify themselves as having service animals when they place calls requesting service.
D. Service animals may be an animal other than dogs. In addition, service dogs come in all breeds. No signage, harness, or other indicia is required to identify a service animal.
E. Yellow Cab has distributed a car window decal to all drivers for posting in an appropriate location on the inside or outside of the cab, in size 12 font or larger, welcoming persons who use service animals. All cabs currently purchased, leased or operated by Yellow Cab, as well as all future cabs purchased, leased or operated by Yellow Cab will contain this decal.
F. Yellow Cab has included for drivers and dispatchers a copy of its policy to transport all customers accompanied by service animals. Yellow Cab will also make it known that failure to comply with this provision will result in the termination of the driver or dispatcher.
G. Within 60 days from the effective date of this Agreement, Yellow Cab will conduct an ADA training program for all drivers and dispatchers. All future hires to Yellow Cab will be trained as part of the companys orientation program within 30 days of their entry date.
H. Yellow Cab will mail 25 free fare certificates in the amount of $20.00 maximum to the complainant, at an address to be provided by the Department of Justice. Simultaneous with the mailing of the fare certificates to the complainant, Yellow Cab will send a copy of the fare certificates to the Department.
6. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time, including unannounced testing. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any of its requirements has been violated, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce this Agreement or the requirements of title III.
7. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any of its provisions or deadlines shall not be construed as a waiver of the Departments right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
8. This Agreement shall be binding on Yellow Cab and its successors in interest. Yellow Cab has a duty to notify all such successors in interest of this Agreement and the duties and responsibilities it imposes on Yellow Cab.
9. This Agreement is a public agreement. A copy of this document or any information contained in it will be made available to any person by Yellow Cab or the Department by request.
10. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
11. 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, will be enforceable under its provisions.
12. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth above and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law.
13. This Agreement does not affect Yellow Cabs continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA. In particular, the title III obligation to provide service on an equal basis to persons with disabilities who do not use service animals is an continuing obligation.
14. This Agreement will remain in effect for eighteen months from the effective date of this Agreement.
15. The person signing this document for Yellow Cab represents that he is authorized to bind Yellow Cab to this Agreement.
FOR THE RESPONDENT: FOR THE UNITED STATES:
Yellow Cab of Salt Lake City, UT
435 South 600 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
RALPH F. BOYD, JR.,
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division.
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
MARY LOU MOBLEY, Acting Deputy Chief
JOSH MENDELSOHN, Supervising Attorney
SHANA WEINER, Investigative Assistant
February 2, 2004