Westborn Market service animal complaint sparks settlement

The Detroit News

Westborn Market locations have reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan after a man said he was asked to leave because of his service animal, federal officials announced Monday.

The man filed a complaint through the U.S. Attorney's Office's Civil Rights Hotline, alleging that a worker "demanded written proof that his dog was a service animal and was asked to leave the market when he refused," officials said in a statement.

Westborn staffers must display signs indicating service animals are welcome.

Under the settlement agreement, Westborn Inc. must adopt a nondiscrimination policy with provisions for service animals as well as train all employees about the Americans with Disabilities Act. The chain, which has locations in Berkley, Plymouth, Dearborn and Livonia, also is required to prominently display in each store a notice indicating that service animals are welcome, according to the release.

“People with disabilities who use service animals should not have to suffer through invasive questions or provide written documentation for their dogs in order to go grocery shopping or engage in other activities of daily living,” said Saima Mohsin, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, in a statement.

“If it is not obvious that a dog is a service animal, a store may ask only two questions: 1) Is the animal required because of a disability? and 2) What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform? Anything beyond that is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Westborn representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.