Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you are protected from discrimination in a variety of places of public accommodation, including but not limited to lodging, food and entertainment venues, sales or rental services, health care, and other professional services, or recreation.

However, when you are discriminated against in a public place, you need to know you do not have to stand for this unequal treatment. Scranton civil rights attorney Craig Kalinoski is here for you in your discrimination in public accommodations case.

What is discrimination in public accommodation?

Discrimination in public accommodation may include any of the following discriminatory acts including, but not limited to:

  • Admission refused
  • Re-admission refused
  • Eviction
  • Accused of shoplifting
  • Different price charged for goods or service
  • Different service
  • Service denied
  • Privileges revoked
  • Surveillance (followed or watched)
  • Racial profiling
  • Different terms/conditions of contract
  • Different terms/conditions of sale
  • Different terms/conditions of service
  • Different terms/conditions of goods
  • Harassment
  • Denied access related to a disability
  • Denied reasonable accommodation for a disability
  • Interpreter denied
  • Discriminatory notice or ad displayed or published 

Under federal law, citizens have a right to equality in public places. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and religion. 

U.S. Code § 2000a. “Prohibition against discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation” also provides equal access to all persons of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.

Such locations include:

  • Any inn, hotel, motel, or another establishment which provides lodging
  • Any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or another facility principally engaged in selling food
  • Any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or place of entertainment

In addition to these federal laws, there are also state laws that mirror the anti-discrimination sentiment.

Public Accommodation Provisions Pennsylvania Human Relations Act

The Public Accommodation Provisions Pennsylvania Human Relations states that a public accommodation is “any accommodation which is open to, accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public, including government services.” Under the Act, it is unlawful for any owner, manager, employee, agent, etc. to discriminate against any person in the full use and enjoyment of such public accommodation, on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Ancestry
  • National origin
  • Disability or known association with a person with a disability
  • Use of a guide or support animal due to blindness, deafness, or physical disability

Under the Act, should a member of the public face any form of discrimination in public accommodation, the complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act.

Limitations on Public Accommodation

As a patron to a public place, you deserve to have equal access and treatment to such amenities. However, there are limitations to public accommodation laws at both state and federal levels.

One such example is that if a patron behaves in an offensive manner, or is believed to be a threat to public health and safety, the individual can be removed from the establishment or excluded from any activities.

In addition, so long as the policies of public accommodation are applied to all patrons equally, individuals may be subject to bag checks, security reviews, and any other protective measures.

What is not a public accommodation?

When we think of public accommodations, we think of anything supported via the government, or businesses opened to the public. However, there are certain establishments that are not considered a public accommodation. These include:

  • Churches
  • Synagogues
  • Mosques
  • Other religious organizations
  • Clubs that require memberships

However, if these facilities are rented out to the public for non-religious purposes or not for the private members’ benefit, those establishments become public accommodations during that period of time.

But there are many nuances to discrimination in public accommodation law that can be difficult to keep up with. However, a civil rights attorney can guide you through the process of filing discrimination in public accommodations claims.

Discrimination In Public Accommodations: Kalinoski Law Offices, P.C.

Scranton civil rights attorney Craig Kalinoski is here for you in your discrimination in public accommodations case–he will go against any public place to defend your civil rights.

Your rights matter. If your civil rights have been violated and you have been discriminated against in a public space, you need the legal support of Scranton lawyer Craig Kalinoski. He will protect your rights and bring you the justice you deserve. Contact us today.

We fight for the rights of our clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas, ranging from criminal defense to family law to civil rights and personal injury.

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