Q: Racial exclusion by business owner legal?

When I own a business (e.g. bakery, coffeeshop etc.) am I LEGALLY allowed to deny service to people of a specific ethnicity (e.g. african-american), sexuality, gender etc. and/or deny them employment? I mean after all it is MY business and I can decide, whom I offer my service or who can enter my shop, just like I decide who enters my home. Can I get sued for such obviously racist/sexist actions? Thank you for your answer.

1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Greben
Brian Greben
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Great Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: No, you cannot legally discriminate against patrons or employees. Yes, you can get sued.

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