Local restaurant owner claims Sen. Amanda Chase threatened to sue over mask policy

Sen. Amanda Chase
Sen. Amanda Chase(Amanda Chase - Facebook/NBC12)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Vito’s Italian Kitchen owner Katharine N. Pellerito shared a post on Facebook on Monday that claimed state Senator Amanda Chase threatened to sue the local restaurant over their mask policy.

“She had a note from her doctor, claiming a medical exemption. She recorded my husband while he was explaining to her our policy and got on the phone with her lawyer while in our restaurant,” Pellerito said in the post.

The post has been shared over 2,600 times since Monday.

My husband and I are small business owners, parents to four children under five and doing our best to juggle the...

Posted by Katharine Nye Pellerito on Monday, August 10, 2020

“Under the ADA, the law states we must make reasonable accommodations for medical conditions. And in a pandemic, offering curbside pick up is the reasonable accommodation we’ve chosen to offer. It still gives a chance for people to enjoy our food but keeps our staff and other guests as safe as possible while helping to slow the spread of COVID,” Pellerito continued in her post.

Sen. Chase responded in her own Facebook, saying she experienced two separate occasions where store employees initially denied her service because she refused to wear a mask due to an underlying health condition.

This weekend while touring Virginia, I had on two separate occasions where store employees initially denied me service...

Posted by Senator Amanda Chase on Monday, August 10, 2020

“Once I provided a letter from my doctor I was finally provided service, but not without being harassed and belittled in front of other store patrons,” Chase wrote in the post.

“I chose to stand my ground because there are thousands of disabled Virginians who are being victimized and harassed because of this Governor’s confusing and ever changing executive orders,” Chase said on her post.

WHSV has reached out for comment from Pellerito and Vito’s Italian Kitchen, but our interview request was declined.

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