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Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodations


Discrimination Attorneys Protecting Individuals from Discrimination in Public Places One Case at a Time

Almost all individuals have the right to enter most public places. Race, religion, disability, national origin, or any other protected class status should not bar a person from places of public accommodation. Federal and state laws prohibit private businesses, public spaces, and government organizations from discriminating against patrons based on these characteristics.

Public places are designed for public use. Businesses have the right to deny services to people who violate the law or cause harm to others. However, they do not have the right to deny services to individuals because of their race, religion, or national origin.

When you experience such treatment, you have the right to fight back. You deserve a lawyer that fights for equality whenever discrimination rears its ugly head.

What Are Places of Public Accommodations?

Places of Public accommodations are public places that offer services to the general public. These places can be government facilities or privately owned businesses. In addition, these places must remain open to the public.

Government facilities include:

  • Courthouses
  • Jails
  • DMV facilities
  • Public Parks
  • Hospitals
  • Service offices (such as unemployment, welfare, Medicaid, and Medicare, etc.)
  • Transportation services
  • Public schools or schools receiving any government or public funding
  • Any other building or service operated and funded by the federal, local, or state government.

Privately owned businesses and facilities include:

  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Professional offices (accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc.)
  • Workout facilities
  • Shopping malls
  • Hotels and motels
  • Gas stations
  • Airlines and other forms of private transportation
  • Any other location owned by a private person or entity that is not a private club.

Private clubs, such as Country Clubs, are not considered places of public accommodations. In addition, churches, mosques, synagogues, or other religious institutions are not places of public accommodations under the law.

These places may choose to accommodate people. However, many of the laws affecting public places do not bind these establishments.

What Is Discrimination in Public Places?

Places of public accommodations should be available to the public. Discrimination occurs when a person gets denied access or service in one of these places based on their protected class status.

Public places must accommodate people of all abilities, religions, colors, races, and national origins.

What Are Examples of Discrimination in Public Places?

Discrimination in public places can appear as a blatantly racist or discriminatory action. However, many times, it is rather subtle.

Some examples of discrimination in public accommodations include:

  • A hospital keeps waiting hours to see you. They continue to take people who got there after you back to the beds. Their symptoms are not as dire as yours. However, you are Hispanic and speak broken English. The other patients are Caucasian and speak perfect English.
  • A server in a restaurant continues to ignore your table of mostly African Americans. They wait on all the other tables and check back several times before even greeting you. You complain to management. Yet management says they must be having a bad day and never addresses the concern with the server.
  • A retail store does not have a ramp to allow you access to their store.
  • The courthouse security staff only runs manual bag checks on people they think are Muslim that enter the facility.
  • Your local gym makes it very clear they prefer African American patrons. They ignore you every time you ask for help with a machine. They refuse to acknowledge your complaint when they physically see African American patrons bullying you as you exercise. When the gym management listens to your complaint, he asks you to leave instead of those harassing you.

What Laws Protect You from Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodations?

Several laws protect your rights in public places, including:

1. Disabled Patrons: Title III of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination in public places. Proper accommodations, such as the following must be in place to allow access to people with disabilities:

  • Ramps
  • Restrooms with wheelchair access
  • Braille where appropriate
  • Hearing Accommodations where needed
  • And more

2. Races, Color, Religion, and National Origin: Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 publicly prohibits places from discriminating behavior. They cannot deny access or services to people based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Any business that refuses to serve a person based on these criteria (or protected class status) violates federal law.

3. Gender and Sexual Orientation: Many state laws protect people from discrimination in places of public accommodation as well. Many state laws extend protections to people based on gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. They also provide all the protections provided under federal law.

To learn more about your state’s public accommodation laws, contact the attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group. They can help you determine if you are the victim of discrimination in a public place. They will also help you understand which law best suits your claim.

What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Complaint for Discrimination in Public Places?

Both the ADA and Civil Rights Act neglect to provide a statute of limitations to file a claim. Therefore, many courts will expect the lawsuit to get filed within the time frame allowed by the state laws for discrimination in places of public accommodations.

Each state offers different time limits to file discrimination in public places. Depending on your state, you may have anywhere from 180 days to several years to file your claim.

Do not wait too long to file your claim. You may miss the opportunity, leaving you unable to seek justice. Speak with a qualified discrimination lawyer to ensure you file your claim within the proper court or agency within the allotted time frame.

What Are Your Rights as a Victim of Public Accommodation Discrimination?

If you are the victim of discrimination in public places, you have the right to file a claim. You can work with your discrimination lawyer to determine what laws you claim fits.

Once you file your complaint, you may receive the following relief from the courts:

  • New accommodations for public use
  • Court fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Sensitivity training for management and employees of the business
  • Punitive damages

Your discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help you file the most appropriate demand with the court. Whether you deserve financial relief or sensitivity training for employees, your dedicated lawyers will help you get the justice you seek.

How Can the Derek Smith Law Group Help You?

The Derek Smith Law Group’s experienced attorneys have spent many years understanding civil rights laws. We understand every nuance of the law, whether it affects employment, public spaces, or educational institutions. We proudly stand up against racism, religious persecution, and nationalism.

Our team of discrimination lawyers lives and works in the cities you call home. Whether enjoying the ambiance, food, or culture, in New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, or New Jersey, our attorneys experience the same joys and pains as anyone living or working in or around these wonderful cities.

We have over two decades of experience litigating for clients in favor of their civil rights. Our extensive experience allows us to guide you in the most appropriate direction for your case.

Contact Our Experienced Discrimination Attorneys for Your Free Consultation

Public places are designed for public use. When a public place discriminates against you based on your disabilities, race, color, national origin, or religion, they are breaking the law.

You deserve to live within your community without any form of discrimination. You deserve an attorney that will protect your rights. The Derek Smith Law Group is proud to stand up against all forms of discrimination in public places.

If you are the victim of public accommodation discrimination, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (800) 807-2209 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.

Did you experience discrimination in a public place? Are you uncertain about your rights when in a place of public accommodation? Please call 800.807.2209 or email with your questions.

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