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Laws on Discrimination in the Hospitality Industry

Lawson Discrimination in the Hospitality Industry

Hospitalityindustry is ranked among the fastest expanding sectors of theeconomy. The hospitality sector receives millions of visitorsannually and the laws managing the sector have been made stringent soas to ensure that hotels and restaurants act responsibly towardstheir visitors. The legal requirements cover the management’sresponsibility towards employees and visitors. The purpose oflearning the legal frameworks of the hospitality industry is so as tolearn how to act so as to avoid legal troubles. This discussion shallcover discrimination laws affecting accommodation and employment, inthe hospitality industry. Discrimination of any kind is illegal andit attracts legal penalties as discrimination is considered aviolation of human rights.

TheAlberta human rights act gives the guidelines against discriminationin the hospitality sector. The hospitality sector covers nightclubs,hotels and restaurants. The hospitality facilities are obliged underthe law to treat employees, clients and guests equally regardless oftheir race, ethnicity, religious status, and gender, physical ormental disability. The services offered must also have nodiscrimination as this is a responsibility so as to protect humandignity and business interests (Tanke52).The act does not protect discrimination based on age in the sector ofservices or facilities. This is because some areas or facilities mayhave an age limit for access based on protection.

Discriminationin employment is also prohibited because any person above the age of18 is entitled to employment if the person meets the minimumrequirements for employment. The hospitality sector is obliged by thelaw to employ anybody who has the minimum qualifications.Discrimination on access for clients is only justifiable in caseswhere there are provisions for protected characteristics (Barth101).The discrimination must, however, be made public so that anypotential clients are aware of the provisions. People with specialneeds are required to bring their needs to the attention of themanagement so that the suitable accommodations can be made. Thevisitor must then give the management sufficient time to make thenecessary arrangements for the visitor.

Thehospitality establishments are required by law to display their rulesand regulations in a visible place so that their clients can adhereto the regulations. Any special requirements must be made public sothat the clients are aware of any special requirements. The hotelsare required by law to take the details of their clients and goods sothat any special cases can be noted and in case of any emergencies.The hotels must then store the information with utmostconfidentiality and destroy the information with secrecy (Barth&amp Hayes 116).However, the hospitality industry must employ qualified employees sothat they can serve their clients sufficiently. The employees must bewell trained so that they know how to prepare food and serve theirclients according to industry standards.

Discriminationin the age of human rights is also extended to people with physicaldisability. Restaurants and hotels are supposed to make walkingprovisions for persons living with disability so as to ease theirmovements (Barth83).For example, hotels and restaurants can be sued if they do notprovide walking ramps for people with disability. The establishmentsare required to make it possible for those with disabilities to movearound with ease. Another requirement is to have special toiletfacilities for persons living with disability. Lack of sufficientfacilities can lead to a law suit for discrimination based onphysical disability.

Itis also illegal to discriminate a client based on mental disability.The most common discrimination is asking the person to leave thepremise for staying there for too long. It ought to be understoodthat such a client may have difficulty in doing something quickly andthe management ought to assist a person to perform differentfunctions. A person with mental disability ought to be givensufficient time to do what he or she wants (Knowles107).It is also illegal to seat a person with a mental disability in adifferent place such as a backroom. People with mental disabilitiesought to be accorded respect and dignity and this includes beinggiven the same space as those of normal mental health.

Additionally,a person with a mental disability ought not to be given a poorservice due to his disability. Some restaurants or hotels may give amental disabled person poor service due to the notion that such aperson is not of sound judgment. However, people with disabilitiesare entitled to the standard services as this is a way of protectingtheir dignity (Barth&amp David 96).The management of a hotel or restaurant has a legal requirement toensure that a person with mental disability is given quality andstandard services.

Anyhotel or restaurant with exclusive membership is allowed to denyadmission for people who do not meet the minimum requirements.However, the exclusive membership cannot be based on race or color.The discrimination based on exclusive membership must make inform thepublic that there are minimum requirements for admission into thefacility. Any lack of admission once a person meets the minimumrequirements attracts a law suit as it is seen as discrimination forno justifiable reasons (Tanke188).The premise is required to disclose all the requirements foradmission so that the person who seeks admission can make an informeddecision. This also goes for employment opportunities in suchfacilities, where the premise is required to give employment topeople with the minimum qualifications and not based on any otherfactors.

Raceis also a thorny issue in the hospitality sector. Modern day lawshave stiff penalties for establishments that discriminate againstrace. People from all races have a right to admission in any facilityas long as they meet the minimum requirements. There is no exemptionfor admission into the premises based on race. Any person has a rightto admission into any premise at any time. The law recognizes thatall people are equal regardless of race and as such, it is unethicalto discriminate a person based on race (Knowles38).This also applies to employment opportunities in hotels andrestaurants. People from all races are entitled to employmentopportunities in all facilities as long as they meet the minimumqualifications.

Racialdiscrimination also applies to the treatment of employees andclients. It is illegal to give a person substandard services based onrace. All clients are entitled to the best services available as longas they can afford. The services offered to clients in hotels andrestaurants are standardized across all races and it is illegal togive different levels of services to people based on race (Barth&amp David 200).All patrons are entitled to equal services because it is a personalright to be given value for money. For example, the hotel orrestaurant is required to handle all luggages equally and give thesame level of respect to luggage to their clients. This also appliesto the allocation of space and rooms.

Racialdiscrimination during employments is also illegal. All qualifiedpeople are entitled to employment opportunities in hotels andrestaurants despite their races. Once a person is employed, theperson is entitled to al the employee benefits and promotionopportunities that are set for by the establishment (Barth42).The state recognizes that job opportunities are basic human rightsand as such, it would be illegal to discriminate based on races.Another discrimination that is punishable is when fellow employees ormanagers taunt a person on the racial basis. All employees areentitled to respect and when a person is taunted on the racial basis,the person can sue for discrimination. This is because racialdiscrimination shows that the workmates or managers do not respectthe person. This can also lead to denial of opportunities due toracial profiling.

Additionally,clients are not allowed to discriminate a person based on racialdiscrimination. If a client racially discriminates or abuses anemployee, the premise has the right to deny the client admission. Thehotel or restaurant can also sue such a client for racialdiscrimination. The hospitality industry recognizes mutual respectbetween clients and employees. The respect is based on equal and fairtreatment by both the client and the employee (Knowles158).Restaurants and hotels are not supposed to place profits ahead ofrespect for their employees. The facilities are entitled to denyadmission in case clients do not respect their employees. This is whyrestaurants and hotels retain the right to admission into theirpremises.

Racialdiscrimination also applies to the allocation of employees for theprovision of services. Once a client gets admission gets admissioninto a hotel or restaurant, the client ought to be served by anyqualified employee. The management is not allowed to allocateemployees based on race. Any employee can serve any client regardlessof race. The hotel or restaurant ought to ensure that its clients donot discriminate its employees on the basis of race by ensuring thatall clients are aware that all employees are capable of serving allclients (Barth&amp David 165).Any employee who is denied a chance to serve a given client on thebasis of race is entitled to legal process that pays for the damagesincurred.

Sexualdiscrimination is also prohibited by law. It is illegal to deny aperson entrance to restaurant or hotel based on sex. All human beingsare entitled to admission and quality services in the hotel orrestaurant. The establishment ought to give quality servicesregardless of one’s gender. It is also illegal to deny peopleadmission and quality services based on sexual orientation. Forexample, it is illegal to deny homosexuals quality services oradmission to a premise. Sexual orientation is not considered a legalrequirement for access to services and it is thus illegal to sexuallydiscriminate people based on their sexual orientation. Additionally,the management of a hotel or restaurants should not allow otherclients to discriminate a person on his or her sexual orientation.The management is allowed to deny admission to a client whodiscriminates against another client on the basis of sexualorientation.

Transgenderedpeople ought to also be allowed to use the hotel’s and restaurant’sfacilities based on which gender he or she prefers. The law prohibitsthe coercion of a transgendered person to use a facility based onphysical appearance and not his or her sexual identification (Tanke71).A transgendered person has a right to choose a facility to use basedon his or her orientation. For example, it is illegal to force a maletransgender to use female toilets, yet he considers himself a man.The person’s choice of washroom is based on whatever gender heidentifies with.

Employmentis also guided by the qualifications of a person and not gender. Bothwomen and men have a right to equal employment and promotionopportunities and benefits in any hotel or restaurant. This alsoincludes an allocation of duties. Duties ought to be allocated basedon a person’s ability to effectively carry out a task and not one’sgender (Knowles90).Everyone is entitled to an employment opportunity if the person meetsthe requirements for the opportunity. It is also illegal todiscriminate homosexuals and transgendered people when employingthem. The hotel or restaurant must also ensure that its customers donot discriminate a homosexual or transgendered employee.

Culturaldiscrimination is also illegal. All establishments sought to admitpeople from all social and cultural backgrounds into their premisesand give them equal services. For example, one cannot only admitpeople from a particular culture or country into the restaurant orhotel. The hotel or restaurant ought to be accessible to all peopleresiding in the country. Additionally, the management must ensurethat its clients do not discriminate a worker due to his culturalbackground. The services accorded to a person ought to also bestandard and not based on cultural orientation.

Thisalso applies to employment opportunities. The most important aspectof employment is a worker’s capability to do the allocated dutieseffectively. The employment opportunities accorded to people ought tonot to be based on cultural orientation or country of origin.Cultural discrimination is illegal as all people are governed by thesame employment laws of the land regardless of the person’scultural orientation. A hotel’s or restaurant’s clients ought toalso be discouraged from discrimination an employee on the basis ofhis or her culture, or country of origin. The management reserves theright to admission of a client who discriminates employees on thebasis of his or her culture (Tanke56).

Inaddition, there is discrimination on the basis on protectedcharacteristics. For example, a person ought not to be deniedadmission to a hotel or restaurant on the pretext that the premise isfully booked. This also includes discrimination based on race,gender, culture, sexual orientation, and religion. This also includesdiscrimination by charging a higher price to people with protectedcharacteristics as a way of discouraging the person from using therestaurant or hotel (Barth&amp David 107).Some hotel or restaurants may also discriminate a person by denying aperson with protected characteristics admission on the assumptionthat the person may cause disturbance.

Inconclusion, discrimination of any kind is illegal and it attractslegal penalties as discrimination is considered a violation of humanrights. Discrimination may be on the grounds of sex, sexualorientation, race, culture, religion, physical disability orprotected characteristics. This applies to both clients andemployees. Employees are entitled to equal treatment in their placesof work as long as they meet the qualifications for the job. Clientscan only be denied admission to a premise if the hotel or restauranthas exclusive membership.


Barth,Stephen C, and David K. Hayes. HospitalityLaw: Legal Management of the Hospitality Industry.New York: Wiley, 2001. Print.

Barth,Stephen C. HospitalityLaw: Managing Legal Issues in the Hospitality Industry.New York: Wiley, 2001. Internet resource.

Knowles,Tim. FoodSafety in the Hospitality Industry.Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002. Print.

Tanke,Mary L. HumanResources Management for the Hospitality Industry.Albany, NY: Delmar Thomson Learning, 2001. Print.