Phoenix, AZ asked in Civil Rights and Consumer Law for Arizona

Q: Is a retailer required to assist disabled customers with their heavy purchases?

I was shopping at a large retailer and purchased a 50 pound grill. I requested to use the shopping cart to bring it to my car. Manager denied me because I did not have a drivers license for collateral, I provided other forms of collateral and was denied. I requested employee assistance to my car and was denied. I explained I have a disability, and I am unable to lift and carry a 50 pound item manager denied his employees to assist me. I am in Arizona is this legal

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Arizona, as in many places, retailers are generally expected to make reasonable accommodations for customers with disabilities, under federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes providing assistance with navigating the store, accessing goods, and in some cases, help with transporting heavy purchases to a vehicle. However, the specific obligations can vary based on the nature of the business, the type of accommodation requested, and whether providing such assistance would cause undue hardship to the business.

If you've requested assistance due to a disability and the retailer denied this request, it might be considered a failure to provide reasonable accommodation. The key here is whether your request was reasonable and whether the business could have provided the assistance without significant difficulty or expense. The situation you've described suggests that the retailer might not have met their obligations under the ADA, depending on the specifics of your disability and the feasibility of accommodating your request.

It might be helpful to discuss your experience with a legal professional who has experience in disability rights. They can offer advice on how to proceed, whether it be filing a complaint with the Department of Justice, which enforces the ADA, or considering other legal actions. Additionally, reaching out to the retailer's corporate office to explain your situation and the denial of assistance you faced could also result in a more favorable outcome or clarification of the store's policies regarding assistance to customers with disabilities.

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