Ladies’ Nights: a win for NYC clubs

by Walter Olson on September 30, 2008

Although lawsuits against “Ladies’ Nights” discounts have prevailed in California and Colorado, a New York judge has thrown out Roy Den Hollander’s much-publicized suit seeking class action status on behalf of men not offered discounts at China Club and other Manhattan nightclubs. (AP/CBS News, Sept. 29; earlier here, here, here, and other posts at our tag). More: Hollander was advancing the relatively unusual argument that the discounts were unconstitutional, which failed when the judge declined to find that they constituted state action; earlier lawsuits against the discounts have generally been based on anti-discrimination statutes, and the case might have come out very differently had those theories been relied on.

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1 gitarcarver 10.04.08 at 6:37 pm

Wasn’t there a lawsuit a few years ago where hair stylists in NY were told they couldn’t charge men and women different prices, even though the argument was that women’s hair takes longer to cut and are generally more intricate styles?

In the long run, think about what this decision means…

Someone doesn’t have to blatantly discriminate against someone, they can just charge them more. Don’t want an ethnic group in your restaurant? Charge them more! The judge said that businesses have the right to charge as they choose.

Want an all male gym? No problem. Charge men a $50 membership fee and women a $1000 fee.

Want to limit who can rent an apartment? No problem-o. Charge the people you don’t want in more than you charge everyone else.

All would be consistant with the judge’s ruling that a company “can price their products as they wish because they’re not acting as representatives of the state.”

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