Many people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey speak highly of the Wawa chain of convenience stores. Which is why it was a bit of surprise to folks in the area when a man was kicked out of a store earlier this summer because he brought his service dog into the building. Now the chain has not only agreed to fork over a bit of cash to the customer, but to also make sure its employees don’t repeat the mistake.
The incident occurred on June 13, when the man attempted to buy a sandwich at a Wawa in Cumberland County, NJ, only to be told by the store manager that he would not be served unless he took the dog outside.
The man, whose service dog is trained to assist him in case of a seizure, says he attempted to show the manager the animal’s documentation and let her know that the store is required to allow service animals, but the manager refused to listen.
So now he’s getting $12,500 as a settlement from the store. But more importantly, Wawa has agreed to post signs in all its stores — at least the ones in New Jersey — reminding them that service dogs are allowed by law.
While Wawa did not comment on the settlement, it had previously stated that “Because we are a food establishment, we have to comply with strict Board of Health regulations which do not permit pets in our stores, but of course qualified service animals are permitted and welcome.”