While lobbying to amend state law to prevent businesses from discriminating against gay and transgender customers, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada came to an embarrassing conclusion: Nevada is among a few states without a law protecting customers from sex discrimination by businesses.
Years ago, attorneys in other states used such laws to stamp out disparate pricing for men and women at bars, nightclubs and other businesses. “Ladies’ night” lawsuits have generally succeeded.
It’s easy to see which Nevada businesses would stand to lose the most from equal pricing laws.
Free or discounted admission for women is a key marketing strategy for casino nightclubs. Women draw men, who pay big bucks to enter these clubs and buy drinks for women. Women are eye candy, men are wallets. Simple stereotypes? Sure. And yet, casinos profit from well-accepted sexual stereotypes, including scantily-clad cocktail servers and go-go dancers.
That’s why casino executives are paying close attention to Las Vegas civil rights attorney Todd Phillips.
Phillips, who moved here from Hollywood a few years ago, has made a business out of suing California businesses for charging men more than they charge women.
Last year, Phillips filed a sex discrimination complaint against the Las Vegas Athletic Club for charging men a $10 membership fee, while women enrolled for free. To his surprise, he was the first person to challenge a business for gender discrimination under Nevada’s “public accommodation” law.