Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dedham restaurant and town officials settle discrimination claim

In a rare public admission of fault, the Bamboo restaurant in Dedham and town officials acknowledged wrongdoing when the restaurant refused to provide disabled patrons service over the summer and a police officer allegedly refused to intervene, according to the Daily News Transcript. The acknowledgement arose out of an incident on June 26, 2011 where the restaurant would not seat a large group of patrons that included one person in a wheelchair and several service animals. The restaurant allegedly insisted that the patrons show identification for the service animals and claimed that the local health department refused to allow the dogs near the restaurant buffet. When the patrons called the police, an officer arrived who reportedly refused to help and accused one of the patrons of "getting in his face," according to one of the patrons' affidavits. 

The state's anti-discrimination statute forbids restaurants and other places of public accommodation from requiring identification for service animals and refusing service to disabled persons based on the presence of a service animal. The restaurant's website now includes a statement of apology.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Funds to Quincy Housing Authority frozen

The Quincy Housing Authority has become ineligible for  federal funding until it addresses a current tenant's complaint of disability discriminationThe United States Department of Housing and Urban Development froze funding for the Housing Authority after its representatives allegedly failed to respond to inquiries from the federal government regarding the discrimination complaint.  

The complaint arose after a tenant requested a transfer to another unit last year because of alleged harassment and threats from a neighbor.  With her request, the tenant allegedly submitted a letter from her doctor claiming she is disabled and is being treated for depression and anxiety. According to the Patriot Ledge, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination issued a finding that the Housing Authority failed to engage in an interactive process to accommodate the tenant's disability, as required by state and federal disability law, and failed to show that accommodating the tenant's request for a transfer would create an undue hardship.  

Framingham teacher waits on discrimination complaint investigation

A 51 year old physical education teacher at Framingham High School filed an age discrimination complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination recently alleging that the school forced her out of her position due to her age.   Kennedy worked as an athletic trainer for 22 years when the school cut position and gave her a new job as a physical education teacher. With this position, Kennedy alleges that she was required to attend weekly meetings with her supervisor, who made “cruel and gratuitous remarks” about her performance. She also alleges that the school required her to submit lesson plans three weeks in advance of each class, while other teachers at the school only had to submit their plans three days in advance. The MCAD is currently investigating Kennedy's claims.