What Should You Do If You Are Discriminated Against Because You Have A Service Dog?
If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your service dog, you will need to present facts in order to file a complaint. You should be able to do that by documenting what happened. Writing everything down will help because you won’t be able to remember all the details when you do get a chance to report the incident.
Your notes are there to bolster your claims and a detailed account could help your case’s progress transpire faster. Here’s what you should write down when you document:
- The time, date and place when the incident occurred. If possible, include the phone number of the establishment.
- The name of the person whom you believe discriminated against you. If you don’t have the name, a description of the person’s physical appearance will help.
- What transpired between you and the person involved. Write down what you said and what you heard the other person say.
- If the incident was covered in the news, keep newspaper clippings or video copies if it was on television.
- If you can, also get the names, address and phone number of the witnesses.
- You should also write down what you felt about being discriminated against.
Filing A Complaint Against Discrimination
The next thing to do is file what you have documented at appropriate agencies such as the district court or your state’s Human Rights Commission. Make sure to check first because some states provide limited protection on service dogs’ cases.
You could also file through the Department of Justice by sending your documentation to the following address:
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights – NYAVE
Washington, D.C. 20530
Some incidents might require filing within a year of the incident. For more details about this, refer to the Americans With Disability page.