Every business owner has duties to follow as well as rights to exercise. While a business can legally refuse service to someone so as long as it doesn’t involve discrimination, is there a gray area that makes it difficult to determine if the act to refuse services is legal or not?
Ask yourself this next question:
Is it against the law for a business to refuse to perform a service for a same sex couple just as it would be to refuse business to a person of a different religion should it go against their own religious beliefs?
While businesses can refuse service for certain reasons, a recent case was brought to the attention of the Supreme Court that might be a violation on part of a business owner in Colorado. A business can refuse or deny someone of service if:
- Their dress code doesn’t conform to the business requirements.
- If they are displaying disruptive behavior.
- They don’t meet the legal requirements to enter such as an underage individual trying to enter a bar.
- Safety reasons
But where do beliefs come into play and how can your own personal beliefs affect who you do and don’t provide service to? Can you use your own personal views to make these types of decisions? If a business owner doesn’t agree with a person who lives under Christian faith, can they deny them service is they are wearing a cross? If a bi-racial couple enters the business and the owner strictly believes you must marry your same race, can they turn those potential customers away because they are a mix of the two?
Obviously, those are shear indicators of discrimination based on race and religion, but where does same sex marriage fit into all of this? This is a question the Supreme Court is willing to take on. According to CNN, a same sex couple who was looking to have a wedding cake made were refused the service because of their sexual preference. Apparently, the cake artist claimed that “to do so violated his religious liberty under the Constitution.” The case has taken front page of many news source cites simply because same sex marriage is now legal across the U.S. and should be respected.
While the Supreme Court won’t intervene until October, this case displays a clash with religious beliefs and the clash of rights. It can be assumed the couple will hire a discrimination attorney who can represent them during this time and help build a solid case against the business owner who turned them away.
What Types of Cases Does the Supreme Court Handle?
The justices receive thousands of requests to take on cases, however, they only accept about 70% of those. There are 13 circuits of Courts of Appeals and sometimes two will address the same case. If they come out different, the Supreme Court will decide on the case. It is important to be mindful that the Supreme Court will only take on cases that involve federal law or the U.S. Constitution. Some examples of the types of cases they might take on include:
- Same sex marriage
- Religious discrimination
- Racial discrimination
While this case is going to take some deliberation, it is important to be aware that if you feel your rights are violated by an employer or even a business owner, you can file a claim against that person. Employment and labor law lawyers as well as civil rights attorneys specialize in these types of cases and can help recognize an employer for their wrongful actions.