How can companies retain the right to refuse service to anyone, yet still have to follow discrimination laws?

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Title basically says it all, I’ve seen claims and signs that all say that a store or “business retains the right to refuse service” and yet I know (at least in the US) that discrimination and civil rights laws exist and make it so you can’t refuse to serve someone on the basis of race, sex, etc

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7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The right to refuse service and anti-discrimination laws coexist by allowing businesses to set and enforce rules for their operations as long as those rules are applied equally to all customers and do not target or exclude specific protected groups.

Anonymous 0 Comments

From my understanding, it comes down to reason. Businesses and the like do NOT have the right to refuse service for any reason at all–if the reason for refusal is due to discrimination (there’s generally a list of categories that count here, depending on where you’re at), it’s not allowed. Otherwise, if it has nothing to do with a protected category of discrimination, it is.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The laws override company rules, but are also specific.

So you can’t refuse service bssed on skin colour, gender or sexual orientation etc. (depending on the law), but you can absolutely kick someone out for things NOT covered by the law like their behaviour, hygiene, bringing in restricted items etc.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Companies can refuse service for things that people have control over, such as dress (no shirt, no shoes) or behavior (being disrespectful or hostile), but not on the basis of race, sex, etc.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I think some people have the perception that courts are very formulaic and are easily gamed when that isn’t really the case. If a business owner continuously only kicks out black people or women or whatever protected rate, or does so at a rate far higher than what would be expected, they’re gonna ask the business owner what’s going on. If the business owner doesn’t have a very good reason for why this is happening, they’re gonna find that illegal discrimination is happening

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can refuse service to someone who’s breaking the rules of your establishment. But you cannot make a rule that allows you to refuse service to a protected class.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A business can refuse people by their clothes (eg “no shirt, no shoes, no service”), by their age (pubs not allowing under 18s/21s), criminal record, as these aren’t protected classes.

But they can’t refuse people by their gender, skin colour, sexual orientation, age (over 40), or any other [protected class](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_group#United_States).