July 8, 2008
Justice Department Reaches Settlement Agreement With Medical Weight Loss Clinic
To: NATIONAL EDITORS
Contact: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, +1- 202-514-2007, TDD +1-202-514-1888WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department today announced that it has reached a settlement with the Medical Weight Loss Clinic, which is headquartered in Southfield, Mich., under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It was alleged that Medical Weight Loss Clinic refused to serve a prospective client because she has HIV disease.
Under the terms of todays agreement, Medical Weight Loss Clinic will provide training on the non-discrimination provisions of the ADA generally and as they relate to individuals with HIV disease, and will adopt and post at each of its 34 locations a nondiscrimination policy and procedure. Medical Weight Loss Clinic will also pay the complainant $20,000 in damages.
Health-related services must be provided in a non-discriminatory manner to all persons who need them, said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that public accommodations do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities, including those with HIV disease.
When we are dealing with peoples health needs, whether the issue is weight loss or some other health matter, discrimination against those who are sick or who are HIV positive simply cannot be permitted, said Stephen J. Murphy, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. We must ensure that access to health-related services is not barred due to this type of unlawful discrimination. Todays settlement is a good step in that direction.
Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations, such as Medical Weight Loss Clinic, from discriminating against any individual on the basis of disability with respect to the goods, services, facilities and privileges of the public accommodation. Those interested in finding out more about the ADA or the agreement can call the Justice Departments toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY), or access to its ADA Web site at http://www.ada.gov.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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