"Ensuring that people with disabilities are provided the same retail shopping experience that other customers enjoy helps make the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act a reality," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "My office is committed to combating discrimination faced by people with disabilities, and to helping promote accessibility across our state. I commend Century 21, JCPenney, and Petland Discounts for agreeing to take the steps necessary to make their stores fully accessible for all New Yorkers."
These cases are part of Attorney General Schneiderman's ongoing investigation into the accessibility of retail establishments and other public accommodations for individuals with disabilities. The Attorney General deployed undercover investigators and retained experts to examine Century 21, JCPenney, and Petland Discounts stores to determine if they comply with state and federal accessibility laws. Based on the undercover investigation and architectural surveys of the stores, the Attorney General's office identified numerous impediments and barriers for people with disabilities.
Under the agreements, the three retailers have agreed to:
- retain an independent ADA compliance consultant, approved by the Attorney General's office, to assist with the implementation and enforcement of the agreements;
- conduct a survey of every store located in New York to identify changes necessary to achieve compliance with state and federal accessibility standards;
- conform all elements of each store that deviate from state and federal accessibility laws;
- train employees on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and on the protocols used to afford people with disabilities equal access to the goods, services, and accommodations afforded to people without disabilities.
- certify that all new construction complies with state and federal accessibility laws and standards.
- Century 21, JCPenny and Petland Discounts stores agreed to pay a total of $120,000 to New York State to resolve the investigations