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Following Constituent Complaints, Democratic Senators Press Walmart to Grant Priority Access or Accommodations to People with Disabilities

In Letter to Company’s President and CEO, Senators Press Walmart to Ensure Social Distancing Policies Abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act

Washington, D.C. – Following complaints from Americans across the country who were unable to access Walmart stores due to long wait times, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) led a letter with 7 of his Senate colleagues to urge Walmart to grant priority access for seniors and people with disabilities. Concerns about Walmart’s failure to enforce social distancing guidelines that also provide accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities poses a significant threat to safety and an increased risk of community spread of COVID-19. The Senators also called on the White House Coronavirus Task Force to provide essential businesses with best practices to ensure that any social distancing policies are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“As lines grow outside of business establishments, many older adults and people with disabilities are physically unable to stand for the length of time required to enter the stores. This leaves them with the unthinkable decision to leave the line and attempt to return to the store at a different time when the line may be shorter, which would increase their potential exposure to COVID-19,” the Senators wrote. “Consumer-facing businesses must continue to ensure that those at the greatest risk of illness from COVID-19 remain supported throughout the public health emergency.”

While some retailers have adapted to social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by limiting the number of customers in a store at any given time, any policy change must provide accommodations such as seating that allows seniors and people with disabilities to rest while they wait in line outside of an establishment. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined the letter to Walmart.

Read the letter to Walmart here.
Read the letter to the White House Coronavirus Task Force here.