A restaurant will pay $60,000 after refusing service to a family all because their kids look different as a result of a genetic condition.
The payment comes as part of a settlement announced last week between the U.S. Department of Justice and a Golden Corral restaurant in Westland, Mich. The Justice Department had sued the establishment earlier this year alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In May 2011, Danielle Duford visited the buffet-style restaurant with her four daughters, three of whom have epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic skin disorder that causes blisters as a result of minor injuries or temperature changes. Even though Duford explained the children’s condition to the restaurant manager, emphasizing that the disorder is not contagious, the manager told the family to leave immediately and said that their presence was making other customers “uncomfortable,” according to the lawsuit.
Now, Golden Corral has agreed to pay Duford and her daughters $50,000 in damages in addition to $10,000 in civil penalties. Under the settlement, the restaurant will also develop a non-discrimination policy and train its employees to understand their obligations under the ADA.
“No one should be excluded from participating in the basic activities of daily living on account of fears of their disability, nor should children be shamed from going out in public,” said Eve Hill of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.