Can volunteers at a retail thrift store be barred from purchasing goods at any time?

I was just wondering if the management of a retail store can restrict volunteers who work in the store from purchasing. Their new rule is a volunteer cannot purchase an item unless the item is over 30 days old. This seems discriminatory to me (against the class of volunteers). Is it legal for the store to do this?

Asked on March 10, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is completely legal. Most forms of "discrimination," or treating one person differently than another, are in fact legal; only those forms specifically prohited by the law, such as racial discrimination, or discrimination against the disabled, are illegal. However, there is no law stating that an employer may not treat employees different than non-employee customers, or that a charity may not treat volunteers differently than the people the organization serves.


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