Civil Rights
Innkeepers Duty to Receive
  • common law duty to receive guests
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • race; color; religion; national origin
    • applies to any establishment affecting interstate commerce
    • the act only covers lodging, dining, places of entertainment, and gasoline stations
  • unitary rule
    • when a covered business is located inside another business then both businesses are covered and subject to the act
  • remedies
    • may bring a civil action in federal court
    • we may ask for an injunction, attorney's fees  (this is unusual, the government wants to encourage discrimination cases)
    • compensatory damages are not provided for
  • Note:  the US Supreme Court has said that loss of business is NOT a valid defense
Extending Civil Rights Protection
  • states have extended the civil rights law
  • include intrastate commerce
  • include "places of public accommodation"
  • include:
    • gender
    • age
    • marital status
    • physical disability
    • mental disability
    • sexual preference
  • prohibit discriminatory advertising
  • allow for penalties  ==>  jail and/or fines
  • American with Disabilities Act of 1990
    • must provide access
      • for existing buildings must remove barriers that are readily achievable
    • cannot place requirements on the disabled person that are not placed on others
Rights of Proprietors
  • there are specific circumstances when an innkeeper can refuse a guest
    1. the person is drunk or disorderly
    2. the person is suffering from a contagious disease
    3. the person brings property into the hotel that it does not normally receive  (e.g., firearms, animals, explosives, or illegal drugs)
    4. the person is unwilling or unable to pay for the hotel services
    5. the hotel has no accommodations to offer the person
  • Note:  the hotel cannot refuse accommodation because the guest arrives at an unusual hour
Exempt Establishments
  • B&B's with 5 or fewer rooms
  • Private Clubs
    • must meet the following 5 criteria
      1. selective in choosing members
      2. clearly defined criteria for choosing members
      3. do members control operations
      4. are new members sought discretely
      5. has to be private


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this page is maintained by Reed Fisher
last updated January 15, 2011