Renewal by Andersen Agrees to Stop Excluding Certain D.C. AreasAugust 22nd, 2019 by Kyra Thompson
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and window-replacement company Renewal by Andersen announced a settlement agreement today that will stop excluding from its regular service area District of Columbia (the district) consumers east of the Anacostia River.
The settlement also requires the subsidiary of Andersen Corp., a Minnesota-based door and window manufacturer, to pay $50,000 to the district and better educate employees about the district civil rights laws, resolving an investigation into alleged discrimination based on location by refusal to provide window replacement services in nine district ZIP code areas.
The Attorney General Karl A. Racine says that the OAG is pleased with the results of the agreement.
“Under the district law, businesses are required to serve residents equally, regardless of where they live,” says Racine. “My office is committed to protecting residents’ civil rights and we will take action if we find evidence of discrimination.”
Investigations began after a district resident complained to OAG in March 2019. She claimed that because she lived in the 20020 ZIP code area, which includes the Anacostia, Barry Farm and Hillcrest neighborhoods, the company refused her service. Andersen by Renewal services include in-home consultations, custom replacement windows and window installation. Of the nine District ZIP codes excluded from the company’s regular service area, the OAG found three ZIP codes in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.
As one of the strongest civil rights laws in the country, the district’s Human Rights Act (HRA) prohibits discrimination based on place of residence. This means that businesses open to the public may not refuse to serve, or provide fewer services to, residents in certain neighborhoods.
Renewal by Andersen communications manager Adam May, said to [DWM] Magazine that the district expressed concern that the factors they consider when defining service areas, such as product limitations, violent crime rates and installation capacity, among others, might violate the HRA.
“While we do not agree with their allegations, we fully cooperated with their investigation and are happy to have reached a mutually acceptable resolution,” May says.
The settlement requires Renewal by Andersen to:
- Equally provide service to the district residents;
- Pay $50,000 to the district; and
- Train employees about complying with civil rights law: this includes implementation of written policies about discrimination and an updated training program to ensure all employees and management understand how to comply with district civil rights law.