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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    11

    Default Bar Refused Service Based on Pregnancy

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: Ohio
    I walked into a local bar with a friend of mine at the end of November. We sat down and I ordered a drink. The bartender shook her head and said, "No, sorry." I asked her why, and she replied, "We don't serve pregnant women here." I told her she could call my doctor. (He had told me I could have 2 or 3 drinks occasionally. Also I know that stress is not good on a baby. I was just trying to get of of the house from a stressful situation and calm my nerves.) She still refused to serve me. She then pointed to her sign that stated: We have the right to refuse service. She then turned to my friend and asked what he would like. She did not ask if I would like anything else (example: soda, water, food). At this time, we decided to leave and go elsewhere. I was not comfortable being there any longer. There were customers in there at the time, and she had put a "spotlight" on me. I haven't returned to the business since. Do I have a case to file suit for discrimination? If so, where do I start, and what should I expect. I also do not have much for finances.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    27,010

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    The bar has the right to refuse service.

    Being pregnant is not a protected characteristic in Ohio.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    I know that a pregnant woman is consider to be temporarily disabled at her job, and is to be treated accordingly. I'm not really even saying that the "pregnant" part is the issue, but that it was a type of woman that was refused service.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3,541

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    You were not refused service because you were a woman but because you were pregnant. The pregnancy is the whole issue because that was their reason, legally, for refusing to serve you. The bartender would gladly have served you if you were not pregnant. It is a liability issue for them that they do not wish to open themselves up to. Was the bartender a jerk for completely ignoring you/refusing to serve you anything? Probably but being a jerk is not yet illegal either.

    As PP stated, pregnancy is not a protected characteristic in Ohio so you have no case. You could lobby to have the law changed but I don't think you would find a lot of support for a law to force bars to serve alcohol to pregnant women.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    Angel, review this:

    (G) For any proprietor or any employee, keeper, or manager of a place of public accommodation to deny to any person, except for reasons applicable alike to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry, the full enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of the place of public accommodation.

    I live in Ohio also, and although I have not reviewed the case law on this, under title 7, as a comparitive example, being pregnant and beng fired for it IS sex discrimination.

    IMO, it is worth consulting an attorney, but, here, even if a violation of law occured, the refusal to serve was one based more on the childs welfare, not outright discrimination, but that is for your attorney if you consult one to talk about such influence on any jury and damages.

    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4112.02

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,219

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    It's really a shame when a bartender acts, not based on some bs discrimination but based on the health of your unborn child and you want to sue the guy for discrimination. God forbid anybody offer you a seat on the bus because you are pregnant as I would guess they too would be subject to some sort of suit due to their discriminatory act.

    The guy was acting in the best interest of the child. Arguing your right to get your unborn child drunk isn't going to play well in court.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,322

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    I know that a pregnant woman is consider to be temporarily disabled at her job, and is to be treated accordingly.

    Well, no. Actually, pregnancy is NOT considered a disability under the ADA and accomodations are not required except under exceptional circumstances. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act essentially says that a pregnant employee has to be treated exactly the same as if she were not pregnant. She cannot be treated adversely solely because she is pregnant, but she doesn't get any special privileges either.

    Since you raised the employment aspect, I will point out that even if we concede that the bartender was out of line, and it's not clear that he was, in employment a single act is not sufficient to support a lawsuit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    3,837

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    It's really a shame when a bartender acts, not based on some bs discrimination but based on the health of your unborn child and you want to sue the guy for discrimination. God forbid anybody offer you a seat on the bus because you are pregnant as I would guess they too would be subject to some sort of suit due to their discriminatory act.

    The guy was acting in the best interest of the child. Arguing your right to get your unborn child drunk isn't going to play well in court.
    Drunk? Where do we get that premise? Selling a pack of cigs to a pregnant woman is far worse to me. Where is the line drawn on such consumer rights? Should it be legal to refuse to sell a pregnant woman a steak in an eatery because I think the fat will affect her heart?

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    Since you raised the employment aspect, I will point out that even if we concede that the bartender was out of line, and it's not clear that he was, in employment a single act is not sufficient to support a lawsuit.
    Injunctive relief will prohibit further acts, if awarded, damages are another issue.

    YES, a single act can. It depends on how egregious the act is. If a woman is fired, arguably for being pregnant, that is a single act and is actionable.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,887

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    I do not see any realistic possibility of an attorney taking this case. There are no damages and no award here even if an argument can be made that the bartender discriminated against her. Unless the OP is willing to pay thousands of dollars to an attorney simply to make a point, I doubt this is going to happen. It's not worth the time.

    If the OP wants to have a drink, she can go to a bar that is willing to serve a pregnant woman. I personally know of a number of bars that will not serve a pregnant woman, and all bars in my state have to post warnings about the dangers of ingesting alcohol while pregnant.

    When I ran a bar, I would also refuse to serve a pregnant woman. Better for her to be upset than for her to come back an sue me later on, or, God forbid, that my service might be responsible for any damage to her unborn child.

    As the uncle of two adopted nephews who are victims of fetal alcohol syndrome, I can tell you it is devastating. I would not risk it either as a parent or as a server.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,219

    Default Re: Gender Discrimination at a Bar - Refused to Serve

    BOR;518927]Drunk? Where do we get that premise? Selling a pack of cigs to a pregnant woman is far worse to me. Where is the line drawn on such consumer rights? Should it be legal to refuse to sell a pregnant woman a steak in an eatery because I think the fat will affect her heart?
    hyperbole but the fact remains, the fetus would be exposed to alcohol.


    how about the owners rights? How about the owners liability? Do they have no place here? Unless there is illegal discrimination, the consumer has the right to drink elsewhere.

    Should it be legal to refuse to sell a pregnant woman a steak in an eatery because I think the fat will affect her heart?
    absolutely. After all, it is their business. Since when is it right to impose on another's rights in an attempt to enforce yours?

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