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Hilton agrees to settle disability complaint

November 9, 2010 |  5:41 pm

Hilton Worldwide Inc. and the U.S. Department of Justice announced an agreement Tuesday to make about 900 hotels in the chain more accessible to disabled guests.

Under the agreement, the hotel chain must comply with a consent decree that was prompted by allegations that Hilton's U.S. hotels built and designed after 1993 failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Justice Department regulations.

The Justice Department alleges that Hilton hotels failed to provided the required number of accessible rooms, failed to disperse the rooms among the various categories of accommodations and didn't allow people with disabilities to reserve such rooms through the online reservation system or by phone.

Under the consent agreement, Hilton must survey and bring into compliance all its U.S. hotels built after Jan. 26, 1993 -- the date the ADA regulations for public accommodations and commercial facilities took effect.

The hotel chain must also upgrade its reservation system to allow people with disabilities to reserve accessible rooms, appoint a national ADA compliance officer and pay a $50,000 civil penalty, according to the Justice Department.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Hilton Worldwide's president, Christopher J. Nassetta, said: "Hilton Worldwide is pleased to take further steps to provide our guests with disabilities the accessiblity in accommodations they expect from an industry leader."

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills. Credit: The Beverly Hilton hotel.