NYC Restaurants Settle ADA Public Accommodation Case Brought by U.S. Attorney

It’s not an employment case, but nevertheless important for ADA watchers. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced yesterday the settlement of alleged ADA Title III violations against owners and operators of three popular Mexican restaurants in New York City.

The U.S. Attorney brought the suit against ROSA MEXICANO COMPANY, WEST 62 OPERATING LLC, FENIX RESTAURANT, INC., and ROSA MEXICANO USQ LLC–owners and operators of the Rosa Mexicano restaurants.

According to the suit, the defendants committed numerous ADA violations at each of Rosa Mexicano’s Manhattan locations: 61 Columbus Avenue (“Rosa Mexicano Lincoln Center”), 1063 First Avenue (“Rosa Mexicano First Avenue”), and 9 East 18th Street (“Rosa Mexicano Union Square”). “Most significantly, Rosa Mexicano Lincoln Center lacks an accessible main entrance, and its “alternate entrance” is also non-compliant in several respects.”

Similarly, Rosa Mexicano First Avenue similarly lacks an accessible entrance, and all three of its restrooms are
inaccessible to persons with disabilities, the U.S. Attorney charged. At Rosa Mexicano Union Square, both the main and
“alternate” entrances fail to comply with the ADA, as do the men’s and women’s restrooms.

Under the consent decree setting the case, the defendants will have to make the restaurants’ entrances, waiting areas, bar areas, dining areas, and restrooms more accessible.

“Notably, the consent decree provides for renovations to the main and alternate entrances at Rosa Mexicano Lincoln Center; the creation of an accessible alternate entrance and the construction of an accessible restroom at Rosa Mexicano First Avenue; and renovations to the entrance and the men’s and women’s restrooms at Rosa Mexicano Union Square.”

The owners and operators of the restaurants will pay a $30,000 civil penalty to the United States, the U.S. Attorney said.

Why does this matter for employers? Because all public accommodations–including employers that let in the public to their premises–are subject to the ADA. Also, if the restaurants were not making their premises accessible to disabled patrons, chances are they weren’t making them accessible to their workers also.

You can read more about the settlements at the U.S. Attorney’s website.

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