Photo by PoPville flickr user Jim Havard
From the OAG:
“Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced that a window-replacement company–Renewal by Andersen LLC–will stop excluding District consumers east of the Anacostia River from its regular service area as part of a settlement agreement with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The settlement resolves an OAG civil rights investigation into allegations that Renewal by Andersen unlawfully discriminated against residents based on where they live and, in many instances, refused to provide window replacement services in nine District ZIP codes. In addition to ending this discriminatory practice, the settlement requires Renewal by Andersen to train its employees about District civil rights laws and pay $50,000 to the District.
“The Office of the Attorney General is pleased to have reached a settlement with Renewal by Andersen to end discrimination that excluded District residents east of the Anacostia River from the company’s service area,” said AG Racine. “Under District law, businesses are required to serve residents equally, regardless of where they live. My office is committed to protecting residents’ civil rights and we will take action if we find evidence of discrimination.”
Renewal by Andersen LLC is the window-replacement subsidiary of Andersen Corporation, a Minnesota-based window and door manufacturer. It is one of the largest window-replacement companies in the country, operating in more than 100 markets across the United States, including the District of Columbia. The company offers in-home consultations, custom replacement windows, and window installation.
In March 2019, a District resident complained to OAG that Renewal by Andersen refused service to her because she lived in the 20020 ZIP code, which includes the Anacostia, Barry Farm, and Hillcrest neighborhoods. Under the District’s Human Rights Act (HRA), one of the strongest civil rights laws in the country, this is a prohibited form of discrimination. The HRA outlaws discrimination based on traits including race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, and 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.
OAG’s investigation revealed that Renewal by Andersen excluded nine District ZIP codes from its regular service area, including the three ZIP codes that cover all District neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River–20019, 20020 and 20032. The other excluded ZIP codes were 20005, 20006, 20010, 20018, 20024, and 20064.
Under the settlement agreement with OAG, Renewal by Andersen is required to:
- Provide service equally to all District residents: Renewal by Andersen is required to immediately stop excluding portions of the District from its regular service area and begin providing services equally to District residents, no matter which neighborhood they live in.
- Train employees about complying with civil rights law: The company must implement written policies about discrimination and update its training program to ensure all employees and management understand how to comply with District civil rights law.
- Pay $50,000 to the District: Renewal by Andersen must pay $50,000 to the District.
A copy of the settlement agreement is available at: https://oag.dc.gov/sites/default/files/2019-08/Renewal-by-Anderson-Assurance-of-Voluntary-Compliance.pdf
Civil Rights Resources
OAG protects the civil rights of District residents by bringing lawsuits to challenge discrimination, advocating for legislation to strengthen antidiscrimination laws, and engaging in educational community outreach so that residents know their rights. Learn more about illegal discrimination and how OAG is working to defend your civil rights.
If you believe you have been a victim of discrimination, you may submit a complaint with OAG by:
- Calling OAG at (202) 727-3400
- E-mailing a complaint to [email protected]
- Mailing a complaint to OAG at 441 4th Street N.W., Suite 600S, Washington, D.C. 20001
OAG is working to bolster the District’s effectiveness in enforcing the HRA on a larger scale. In the last year, OAG has filed lawsuits against Evolve LLC and Curtis Investment Group, landlords that unlawfully discriminated against low-income renters. OAG also called on major online apartment rental listing companies to help fight housing discrimination on their platforms, and held several Civil Rights Listening Sessions across the District. OAG’s goal is to ensure equal treatment and meaningful opportunity for all District residents by complementing the work of the Office of Human Rights (OHR), the primary District agency that investigates individual complaints of discrimination. You can file a complaint with OHR at https://ohr.dc.gov/ or call 202-727-4559.”