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TULSA, Okla. – QuikTrip Corp. paid more than $1.5 million to 47 disabled people for discrimination at its stores and gas stations, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.
The payments were made under a previously agreed upon consent decree in which the 47 individuals experienced discrimination at QuikTrip locations in multiple states, violating Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to a Tulsa World report.
"Today is an important milestone in making whole individuals with disabilities who experienced repeated and extensive accessibility barriers at QuikTrip facilities across the United States," stated Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant U.S. attorney general for the civil rights division. "QuikTrip should be commended for working diligently with the department to overhaul its gas stations, stores and policies to comply with the ADA."
A Justice Department investigation determined that ramps were too steep, doors were too difficult to open and gasoline handles were too difficult to squeeze. Additionally, the stores were difficult to enter or exit and lacked a sufficient number of handicap parking spots, according to the report.
The consent decree was entered by the District of Nebraska in July 2010 and required QuikTrip to make its facilities accessible, adopt accessibility policies and pay a $55,000 civil penalty to the U.S. government.
QuikTrip has since carried out the necessary changes, the Justice Department said in a released statement.
"Ensuring access to QuikTrip facilities by individuals with disabilities is a significant step by QuikTrip and a win-win resolution," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska Deborah R. Gilg. "Individuals with disabilities will no longer encounter barriers to access at these facilities and QuikTrip can profit by providing services to this segment of our population."