Senior Community Settles Discrimination Case Involving Dining Policies
The Justice Department recently announced a settlement in a fair housing case alleging that the owners and managers of an Illinois continuing care retirement community discriminated against residents with disabilities based on its policies governing use of its dining facilities.
The complaint alleged that since 2011, the community instituted a series of policies that prohibited, and then limited, residents’ ability to dine in the communal dining rooms of the independent living wing of the facility if they required assistance eating due to a disability. The complaint also alleged that the community maintained a policy prohibiting residents of the independent living wing from hiring live-in caregivers and refused to grant reasonable accommodations to that policy that would have allowed residents with disabilities to use and enjoy their apartments.
The settlement requires the community to pay $210,000 into a settlement fund to compensate residents and family members and a $45,000 civil penalty. In addition, the company that manages the community agreed to take steps to implement similar policies at the over 100 independent living and continuing care retirement communities it owns or manages across the country.