Jennnings vs Lee

A woman lodged a complaint against a restaurant in relation to her guide dog.

The woman has a vision impairment and had just started using her guide dog.

Upon entering a restaurant with friends she was asked to leave her dog outside. Even though she and a companion explained that guide dogs are allowed in restaurants, and are trained not to take food from tables, the Restaurant would not allow the dog to remain inside. Mrs. Jennings and her friends left soon after.

The woman asserted that the distress she experienced contributed to her later decision to give up her guide dog.

Attempts to conciliate this matter by the then HREOC now the AHRC were unsuccessful so it was referred to a Commission hearing.

At the hearing the Restaurant did not contest the matter and advised that it had not understood that guide dogs were allowed in restaurants.

As a result of the hearing, the Restaurant gave the woman an unreserved public apology. The Commission awarded the woman $3,000 by way of compensation for injured feelings and the distress and embarrassment caused her by the Restaurant's conduct.