Discrimination in Public Accommodations
what are my rights?
You have the right to be free from discrimination when purchasing goods or services such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, movie theaters, or bars. This means that you cannot be denied government services, a hotel room, or service at a store or restaurant on the basis of your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, or disability.
Places of public accommodations are required to remove architectural and structural barriers where such removal is readily achievable, i.e., easily accomplished and without too much difficulty or expense. For example, places can be required to install ramps, make curb cuts in sidewalks and entrances, reposition furniture and other possible obstacles, widen doors, and other such accommodations. Furthermore, places of public accommodations must make modifications to their processes, procedures, etc. to provide a reasonable accommodation for your disability.
If you have a disability, you have a right to be accompanied by your trained service animal if the animal is necessary because of your disability. Places of public accommodations can only ask certain questions of you in these situations to determine whether you have to be allowed to bring your service animal into the business or government office.
what can i do if i have suffered discrimination?
If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination in public accommodations, you can file a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. You can also file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Our attorneys are experienced in filing these types of complaints and can help you make sure your story is told. Often, we can help with these cases without any up-front cost – we work on contingency, which means we only get paid if you win.