Supermarket Chain Fined For Violating ADA
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Stop and Shop Supermarket Company LLC has agreed to pay more than $30,000 in penalties and make sure the checkouts at more than 400 of its grocery stores in five states are accessible to people in wheelchairs, the U.S. attorney’s office has announced.
Under the settlement agreement, the supermarket company will pay a $25,000 civil penalty to resolve a complaint that it had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Stephen G. Dambruch, Rhode Island’s U.S. attorney. The company will also pay $6,500 to the woman who brought the complaint to Dambruch’s office.
A spokesman for Dambruch declined to name the woman, who uses a wheelchair. Spokesman Jim Martin said her complaint was about the three Stop & Shops on Aquidneck Island. Her complaint cited three violations of the ADA: the stores lacked an adequate number of checkout aisles, they did not keep open at least one accessible aisle that was staffed whenever the store was open and they did not have credit card readers installed at a height that someone in a wheelchair could use.
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After the U.S. Department of Justice began to investigate the complaint, Stop & Shop “took prompt action to review all of its stores in Rhode Island and ensured that they all comply with the ADA’s requirements for accessible checkout aisles,” Dambruch’s office said in the settlement agreement, which was signed earlier this week.
Besides 26 stores in Rhode Island, the chain operates grocery stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
Under the agreement, Stop & Shop is required to improve access to its checkout aisles for people with disabilities in all of its stores.
The agreement says that the company cooperated fully with the Justice Department’s investigation.
Within a month, the company is required to submit a revised policy to ensure that it staffs at least one accessible checkout when its stores are open. Within six months, it will train all store managers and front-end managers on the policy.
The company is also required to audit all its stores to ensure they have an adequate number of checkouts that are at least 36 inches wide, with credit-card devices no higher than 48 inches off the floor. The audit must be completed within 18 months.
Stop & Shop could not be reached for comment.
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