North Dakota cosmetics store settles with feds after service dog complaint

The complaint alleged that Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, 4420 13th Ave. S. in Fargo, refused to let a woman with a disability enter the business with her service dog.

Ulta Beauty at 4420 13th Ave. S. in Fargo.
Photo via Google Maps
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FARGO — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in North Dakota has reached a settlement with a Fargo cosmetics store and salon after a complaint over a service animal.

The complaint alleged that Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, 4420 13th Ave. S., refused to let a woman with a disability enter the business with her service dog.

In investigating the complaint, the U.S. Attorney’s Office learned that the woman and her service dog tried to enter Ulta and an employee told her the dog could not come in. The employee incorrectly told her a North Dakota cosmetology statute prohibited service animals without documentation, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office entered into a settlement agreement with Ulta to resolve allegations that the business violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

As part of the settlement, Ulta agreed to adopt a nationwide service animal non-discrimination policy for all its stores, train employees on the ADA, post signs saying that service animals are welcome, and pay $1,000 in damages to the woman who filed the complaint.


“The corrective measures agreed to by Ulta will give individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to enjoy the largest beauty (retailer) in the United States, as is required by the ADA," acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl said in a statement. "We hope other proprietors will proactively comply with this important civil rights law."

Under the ADA, people with disabilities and their service animals can enter stores and other places of public accommodations. There's no requirement that they show paperwork, and the service animal does not have to wear a vest, harness or collar designating it as a service animal.

A service animal is defined as any dog trained to work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

If a place of public accommodation is not sure whether an animal is a service animal, the ADA allows them to ask only two questions:

• Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?

• What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Anyone looking to file a complaint related to the ADA in North Dakota can do so at or by calling the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 701-297-7400.

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