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Deaf Ann Arbor man dogged by gas station discrimination

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in Human Resources

A hearing-impaired man filed an ADA suit against an Ann Arbor gas station after an attendant ordered the man to leave the store. According to the complaint, Robert Hurdley entered Golfside BP in Ann Arbor on June 6 accompanied by his service dog.

Hurdley, who can read lips, claims the attendant told him to leave because dogs are not allowed in the store. The store owner agrees Hurdley was told to leave, but claims the attendant had no idea the dog was a service animal. Hurdley maintains the dog was wearing a service-animal identification jacket.

Hurdley indicated he would settle for a face-to-face apology and a $2,000 donation to Paws With a Cause, a nonprofit organization that trains service animals.

Note to employers: The ADA requires employers and business owners to admit bona fide service animals. Employers are free to question whether a dog is a service animal, and even may ask the animal’s owner to demonstrate what service the animal provides. Be tactful. A strong dose of horse sense can prevent a needless dogfight.

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