Gender-based Promotions Can Cause Legal Woes for Your Business
Businesses often use creative promotions to attract customers and generate sales. While these efforts are laudable, businesses could face a lawsuit if the promotion is considered discriminatory based on gender.
Over the past several decades, there have been a number of lawsuits against businesses that offered “ladies’ day” or “ladies’ night” discounts. These promotions used to be common at bars and clubs but have fallen out of favor due to changing laws and cultural attitudes. In fact, as early as 1985, the California Supreme Court ruled that a ladies’ day promotion at a car wash and a ladies’ night promotion at a nightclub violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civil Code section 51 et seq. Further, licensees engaged in gender-based promotions could be in violation of Business and Professions Code section 125.6.
Automotive repair dealers should be mindful in developing inclusive promotions and avoid gender-based promotions and pricing that may inadvertently implicate California law.