As the injured party in the incident where Cost-U-Less gave me access problems earlier this month, I read with interest Mr. Frapollo's comments to Matt Zalaznick from the St. Thomas Source. I have some comments of my own in response.
"All the employees did was ask and once everybody heard it was service dog, it was OK,"
No. If it had been that simple, I would never have filed a complaint. Under the ADA, you're allowed to ask. Both the private security guard and the individual who identified himself as the manager wanted much more explanation, and even then it was a near thing. That's why the offer to call the police to back me up was made.
"Several months ago I was approached by a woman who asked me if I had any problems with her bringing a service dog and I said I didn't, I just asked her to let me know before she comes so I can let my employees know."
That's not what the law requires. My friend contacted you as a courtesy. Under the law, no prior notice to the business is necessary. You and your employees are expected to know the law.
"But how often do you see a service dog in St. Thomas?"
More and more, if certain programs are successful. And maybe you'd see more, for instance from cruise ship passengers, if they weren't so apprehensive about the reaction they'd get.
COURTESY VS. THE LAW
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