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Killeen hotel required to pay disabled veteran over alleged discrimination regarding service dog

The veteran alleged that when the hotel learned he had a service dog the hotel desk clerk refused to honor his reservation because the hotel owner didn't allow dogs.
Credit: New York National Guard
Capt. Yvette Valle from Dunkirk, N.Y., assigned to the New York Army National Guard plays with Dakota, a Labrador retriever service dog provided by Puppies Behind Bars in New York City, April 21, 2020. Puppies Behind Bars is a nonprofit organization that trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, as well as explosive-detection canines for law enforcement.

KILLEEN, Texas — A Killeen hotel will be required to compensate a disable veteran after being accused of discriminating against the veteran and his service dog. 

Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas announced Tuesday that an agreement was made in federal court with the owners and managers of Executive Inn & Suites.

The settlement resolved discriminating allegations brought on by the veteran who uses a service animal and wheelchair due to an amputation of his left leg, according to the news release. 

The veteran alleged that when the hotel learned he had a service dog, the hotel desk clerk refused to honor his reservation because the hotel owner did not allow any type of dog. 

According to the new release, hotel staff insisted that the veteran leave, called the local police department to escort the veteran off hotel property and refused to refund his room rental fee, per the news release. 

Along with compensation, J&J Executive Suites LLC, Kyung Sang Lee and Gaesun Lee, say it will ensure the hotel adopts and implements a service dog policy, provides training on the service dog policy to employees and managers, and posts the service dog policy at their facilities and in their advertising. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act generally requires public accommodations to provide access to individuals with disabilities who use service animals. 

Under the act, public accommodations must generally modify their policies, practices or procedures, such as a no-pet policy, to permit the use of a service animal by a person with a disability, per the news release. 

A service dog generally may go wherever the public is allowed to go and a public accommodation may not require documentation about the service dog.

“Individuals with disabilities, including veterans who have sacrificed for our country, have a right under federal law to the equal enjoyment of public accommodations,” said U.S. Attorney Hoff. “Our office is committed to ensuring that our veterans enjoy equal access to public accommodations, such as restaurants, hotels, and shops.”

    

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