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Thread: Was I discriminated on?

  1. #1

    Question Was I discriminated on?

    My wife and I recently attended a birthday dinner for her brother at a nice seafood restaurant located in Baltimore's Harbor East neighborhood. Due to the location, the time and just not wanting to deal with parking, I decided to use the valet parking the restaurant offered. Once I began to pull my wheelchair out, the valet asked if my car used hand controls and then informed me that he would not be able to park my car. My wife and I both explained that there was no need for him to use the controls and he could drive the car just as he would any other, but he refused to extend the service.
    I was forced to park a block away in an underground garage and travel over cobblestone to access the restaurant. I was extremely upset over the entire situation. My question is, did the valet parker or his company have the right to refuse me service based on my car being equipped with hand controls? I had never experienced this from any other business that needs to drive my car.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
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    Sounds like someone's policy. I'd contact the restaurant manager and ask for advice on how to solve the issue. I have found that issues like this can usually be resolved through polite persistence.
    Tom

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  3. #3
    I had the same problem here at the local hospital when I went to their lab. Their parking situation is horrible so they have valets park cars in the lot across the street. They said they are not allowed to operate vehicles with hand controls after one of their employees drove a car into a brick wall. Like TomRL said; I talked to the guy in charge and he let me park my van up close, out of the way. No problem for me, it all worked out.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TomRL View Post
    Sounds like someone's policy. I'd contact the restaurant manager and ask for advice on how to solve the issue. I have found that issues like this can usually be resolved through polite persistence.
    Sorry I left that part out. The valet did say it was the company's policy and also the valet business was separate from the restaurant.
    I just don't understand how this policy could be valid and not a form of discrimination. But to your point, I do have the phone number for the valet company. Perhaps I'll start with communications about the policies.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tumbleweeds View Post
    I had the same problem here at the local hospital when I went to their lab. Their parking situation is horrible so they have valets park cars in the lot across the street. They said they are not allowed to operate vehicles with hand controls after one of their employees drove a car into a brick wall. Like TomRL said; I talked to the guy in charge and he let me park my van up close, out of the way. No problem for me, it all worked out.
    Of course I don't know what the circumstances were that led up to that accident, but it sounds to me as if that employee was attempting to use the hand controls and lost control. The community of drivers who use hc shouldn't be penalized for their poor judgement. And while being given permission to park up close may be great for you, what about the next person with hand controls that comes along. I'm concerned with more than just my own perceived discrimination and embarrassment, I want to ensure that it doesn't happen to anyone else.
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  6. #6
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    They can probably say this rule is for safety reasons so probably negates the discrimination, I would think. Also could be a liability based on insurance rules like home owners insurance with a pit bull. There are many possible reasons but I bet safety is the main one.

    But they could have accommodated you with closer parking if they had it available? You could always approach the management of the company and suggest that be a "reasonable accommodation" if you choose to eat there again.

    Or

    Educate them and explain your hand controls does not affect normal operations of the car.

    Most blanket rules and policies are made because of ignorance and fear not actual education.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinbmore View Post
    Sorry I left that part out. The valet did say it was the company's policy and also the valet business was separate from the restaurant.
    I just don't understand how this policy could be valid and not a form of discrimination. But to your point, I do have the phone number for the valet company. Perhaps I'll start with communications about the policies.
    If you want change, the valet has a contract with the restaurant. Let the restaurant know you can take your hunger elsewhere.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    If you want change, the valet has a contract with the restaurant. Let the restaurant know you can take your hunger elsewhere.
    This sounds like a good idea.

    Part of me can see why they might have a blanket policy, perhaps due to prior incidents. That doesn't mean it's legal. Still it puts you in a lousy situation, you probably could have benefitted the most from valet parking.

    I've had my car(s) smashed three times over 38 years and always instruct people , techs , etc. not to touch controls.

    I think discussing with restaurant is a good idea.

  9. #9
    I know the fealing of having to park too far away. I think they abused you regardless of safety issues. They are not really good at thier jobs if they couldn't find you close by parking at the very least.

  10. #10
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Probably the result of past valets screwing around. Years ago I went to the car dealer for an oil change and got a similar thing. They said one of the porters drove a van into a wall. But after a mechanic looked at what my car had and saw it was standard controls it was no problem. I'm guessing that van had some sort of full blown electronic setup.

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