Eugene Store Violates Disabled Customer's Civil Rights, Must Pay
A Eugene convenience store violated the civil rights of a disabled customer when it refused to allow a woman entrance with her service animal. That is today's (Monday) ruling from BOLI--The Bureau of Labor and Industries.
BOLI has found that Duck Stop Market, a small shop on Franklin Boulevard in Eugene, was in violation of the law for repeatedly denying entry to a customer with a service animal.
Michel Hilt-Hayden, who suffers from physical and mental disabilities, filed the civil rights complaint in May 2013. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian found that she requires help from her service dogs, Panda and Contessa, and should have been allowed access.
Avakian: "The Duck Stop Market is a place that she had shopped in the past but when she entered the store with her service dog, in order I think the first time just to buy milk like any person would do, she was told that she was not able to bring the dog in. And that despite the fact that there was a sign right on the front of the store that said that service dogs were welcome."
Commissioner Avakian ordered Duck Stop Market owner Kara Johnson to attend training on disability protections in public places. In addition, she must compensate Hilt-Hayden $60,000 for physical, emotional and mental suffering.
When reached, Johnson had one comment:
Johnson: "This is a very sad day for people with real disabilities. I will appeal the decision."