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Civil Rights in Hospitality Law

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Mandy Hartley

on 1 May 2015

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Transcript of Civil Rights in Hospitality Law

Civil Rights Act of 1964
Common Industry-Related Issues
Case law has established that poor customer service is not the same thing as discrimination:
Civil Rights Act does not remedy all perceived wrongs
Only protects against discriminatory den of the right to enter a covered facility and receive server
Delay of service or slow service does not qualify as discrimination
Sherman vs. Marriott
Broad Enforcement Through the Unitary Rule
Places of Entertainment
What exactly qualifies as a "place of entertainment"
Movie theaters
Sports arenas
Exhibition halls
Health spas
Beach clubs
Golf clubs
Establishments that provide recreational activities
U.S. vs. Landsome Swim Club
Catch-all phrase - written broadly in the Constitution so that it covers a wide range of incidents
Airplanes are not considered a place of entertainment under the Act
Civil Rights in Hospitality Law
Personal rights derived from the Constitution
Created to eliminate discrimination in places of public accommodation and employment
Protected classes
National origin
Disabled persons
Law applies to these establishments:
Lodging facilities
Places of entertainment
Gas stations
Act does not cover stores, barber shops, beauty parlors, transportation facilities, bars, and colleges
These establishments may be protected by state statutes
Unitary rule
If a covered facility is located within a noncovered business, or vice, both the covered and noncovered businesses are subject to the Act
Relief in Discrimination Lawsuits
Act provides limited relief for people who have been denied equality of services
Money is not recoverable as a remedy under the Act
Plaintiff may qualify for monetary remedies
Injunctive relief - basically a slap on the wrist for the business that committed an act of discrimination; preventative measure
Reasonable attorney's fees - allows reimbursement from lawyer's fees in cases involving civil rights violations
Rights of Proprietors
There are specific circumstances when an innkeeper can refuse a guest:
The person is drunk or disorderly
The person is suffering from a contagious disease
The person brings property into the hotel that it does not normally receive - firearms, animals, explosives, or illegal drugs
The person is unwilling or unable to pay for the hotel services
The hotel has no accommodations to offer the person (meaning they're 100% occupied)
Violation of reasonable house rules
Preventative Law Tips
Do not refuse a hotel room to anyone on the grounds of being in a protected class
Do not refuse a hotel room to anyone who shows ability to pay
Do not refuse restaurant services to someone on the grounds of race, color, religion, nationality, gender, marital status, or disability
Do not refuse protected classes access to places of entertainment
Concerning disabled patrons, eliminate barriers to accessibility if the removal is readily achievable
Beomio vs. Love's Restaurant
A private club wishing to retain that status should limit membership, develop clear selection criteria, ensure that control and ownership of the club rests with the board of members
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