Man 1 talking(l), Service dog(c), Man 2 talking(r)

@k9trainunit/Tiktok 24K-Production/Shutterstock @k9trainunit/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Isn’t that like a $60k fine??’: Worker tries to kick man with service dog out of restaurant

‘How does anyone, corporate or privately owned, NOT KNOW THIS LAW?’

 

Braden Bjella

Trending

Service dogs are legally protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In general, this means that businesses, non-profits, government offices, and more “must allow service animals to go most places where the public can go. This is true even if they have a ‘no pets’ policy,” per ADA.gov.

Service animals are distinct from “therapy” or “emotional support” animals, and, as previously noted by the Daily Dot, they are not required to operate with a vest or documentation, as there is no official certification process in the United States.

Despite their legally protected status, many people who utilize service animals have faced considerable difficulty obtaining the accommodations they are legally required to receive. For example, a man who is blind claimed he was kicked out of a restaurant for having a seeing-eye dog; another was questioned for having a dog trained to detect allergens. An Uber customer says that three separate Ubers canceled on them because of their service animal.

Now, another person has sparked discussion after claiming that a manager attempted to remove him from a restaurant for having a service animal.

Denied indoor dining for a service dog

In a clip with over 838,000 views, TikTok user @k9trainunit shows an interaction between a person who has a service animal and an alleged manager at a restaurant called Community Pie. The manager is identified as Lucas in the video.

Over the course of the video, the man with the service animal and Lucas have a protracted argument about whether one can have a service animal inside. Businesses are legally required to accommodate service animals in most places where the public can go; however, Lucas says the animal is only allowed outside.

“We don’t allow dogs inside, no matter what,” Lucas says. “If you have a service animal, we allow you to sit on the patio on a leash.”

The person with the service animal responds by saying that the restaurant is violating federal law if this is truly the case. 

Lucas then asks what the animal is to be used for. According to the ADA’s website, a worker may only ask two questions: “Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?” and “What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?”

The video ends before the situation has been resolved.

@k9trainunit

Community pie restaurant service animal refussal

♬ original sound – K9 Train Unit

The TikToker offers an update

The TikToker later followed this video up with another video purporting to contain a message sent by Lucas’ mother. 

The message states that Lucas “is learning” and that the TikToker “can trust that much has been learned and taken into consideration.” The message also contains a request to remove the original video.

“They promised to get some cards and inform their staff with the information about Service Animals,” the TikToker adds at the end of the video. The TikToker says he also returned to the restaurant but did not have issues.

As for the deletion of the video, the TikToker says he will not be doing so.

“Lucas’ mom is saying that Lucas is being bullied, which, I do not believe that’s true,” he says. “I just think she wants the video down, which, I mean, I would too if some video portrayed me as being bad, but it’s the truth. There’s nothing discriminative or anything bullying or anything harassing. It was just factual information, so the video will stay.”

@k9trainunit Lucas community pie part 2 service dogs community #fypシ゚viral ♬ original sound – K9 Train Unit

Commenters share their thoughts

In the comments section, users offered their responses to the TikToker’s issue.

“Isn’t that like a $60k fine??” asked a user.

According to Training Leader, “ADA Civil Penalties range from $75,000 for first violation to $150,000 for the second.”

“How is this common knowledge to people NOT in the service industry but restaurants are completely clueless??” questioned a second.

“Goodness, so sorry this keeps happening to people & their service animals,” stated a further user. “MORE EDUCATION is required for Service related businesses.”

Update 1pm CT, June 19: In a statement provided to the Daily Dot, Community Pie said that the video did not present the full picture of what happened.

“Unfortunately the video that he shared on TikTok does not show the full context and information regarding the situation with him and his service animal. We are grateful for the opportunity to give full context regarding what happened upon his visit as well as afterwards.

When Joshua entered our restaurant on the afternoon of June 7th, he bypassed our host stand, our employees and our ‘please wait to be seated’ sign and chose to seat himself at a table in the dining room with his service animal. As you can see from his video, he does not have a menu and silverware on his table which is what is placed on the table when our staff greets you at the front door and seats you in our dining room. Like I said, he bypassed our employees and sat himself in our dining room without speaking to anyone.

We are aware that our staff misspoke and that we initially mishandled the situation, but we are thankful that we had the opportunity to quickly remedy the situation and apologize while the gentleman was still in the building. He accepted our apology and remained at the booth of his choosing and enjoyed a meal. We did ask him to please update his TikTok post reflecting that he was NOT refused service, but unfortunately he has chosen not to, which is causing a very misleading situation. We have since spoken to this individual multiple times and have issued sincere apologies. He is choosing not to share this as an update to his posting on TikTok as well, but he has since returned to our restaurant on 4 separate occasions, both with and without his service dog. Upon all of these visits, he has been greeted and taken care of by our staff as well as being seated and served as we do all of our guests.

What he is saying about us having a policy to refuse service to individuals with service animals is simply untrue. We made a mistake and realized it in the moment. Our managers are aware of the rules regarding service animals and they are taught to follow those rules at all times. We serve guests with service animals regularly and have never refused service to anyone with a service animal, including Mr. Cato himself.”

The restaurant admitted that some of the questions asked of the TikToker were out of line, though clarified that this was an error and not indicative of typical service.

“We did indeed unfortunately ask a question in error, but it is not a reflection of our common practices as a restaurant nor is it a reflection of the character of the individuals on our management team. In the moment, our managers were a little caught off guard and realized immediately that they were asking a question in error and worked to correct the situation. That was omitted from the video that he chose to post. We have always welcomed service dogs in our restaurant, and our managers are taught to always comply with ADA rules and regulations at all times. We regret that we may have made anyone feel differently and are working to educate ourselves and our team to better handle situations like these in the future. We are circulating updated, detailed ADA training to ALL of our front of house employees to remind our team about these rules and regulations as well as have ordered cards that allow us to put simplified training in the hands of all of our employees.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Angela via email as well as to @k9trainunit via TikTok direct message and comment.

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