Is Ladies Night a Form of Discrimination?

When a bar offers Ladies Night specials, is it a form of discrimination? A viewer asks this thoughtful question…Listen to what Attorney Ben Schwartz has to say!

Is Ladies Night a Form of Discrimination?


Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz.

Today, we’re going to answer a question from Alan in Dover, Delaware. “Is Ladies Night in bars a form of discrimination?

We started talking about this question in our office. I have to tell you that it wasn’t the most popular question when I asked it. For example, my assistant Alyssa said, “This is a terrible question, but I like it!” I also think it’s a great question.

I’m assuming that you’re going to a bar in Delaware, and I’m also assuming that when you use the term ‘Ladies Night’, you are talking about a bar that offers half-priced drinks or half-priced appetizers if you’re female. The purpose of Ladies Night is to try and get people into the bar. The management believes that if you get women into the bar, men will follow. Men tend to follow women where they go.

So, is offering Ladies Night illegal discrimination? That’s a great question. In Delaware, we have the Delaware Equal Accommodations law. It’s Title VI of the Delaware code, Chapter 45. The law states in § 4504, subsection a that “no person being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, director, supervisor, etc. of any place of public accommodation shall directly or indirectly refuse, withhold from or deny to any person on account of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin any of the accommodation facilities advantages or privileges thereof.” If a bar is running a special with 50% off drinks or 50% off appetizers, but only for females, then I would say this promotion is discriminatory under § 4504, subsection a of the Delaware Equal Accommodations law.

The question is: what are you going to do about it? Alan, the next time you are in a bar and it is offering a Ladies Night, you could say that you would like to have the same special that is being served to the women. The bartender or server will most likely say that you’re not a lady. Explain that you researched the issue. Maybe you can show them this video so that they understand that they have to offer you the same deal that they offer the ladies. Otherwise, it’s discriminatory based upon your sex. If they still don’t offer you the discounted drinks or appetizers, then give me a call. I’ll tell you exactly how to go about asserting your rights.

This may not be such a great idea because, Alan, if you go to the bar on Ladies Night, I’m presuming that you are going to follow the women inside. If you go the bar to follow the ladies, a lady may follow you when you leave the bar. I can almost guarantee that if you try to assert your rights under§ 4504, subsection a –  it makes it very, very unlikely that any lady is going to follow you when you leave the bar!

So, as a practical matter (this is not legal advice, by the way) I would say this may not be a fight that you want to pick. Alan, thanks for asking this great question!

I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz. If you have questions for me, go to our Facebook page: Send us a message there or post a comment in response to this video. You can also email me below.

Thanks for watching!

Is Ladies Night a Form of Discrimination?

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