What constitutes actionable discrimination?

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What constitutes actionable discrimination?

I am a vendor that sells merchandise at a flea market. There recently was a change in ownership and the new owner recently approached me in the parking lot of the flea market. He told me that he would soon be enforcing a new rule where vendors could only park outside the flea market so as to leave more parking for customers. I told him I disagreed with the idea because it would be an inconvenience. He walked away and I continued to shout my frustrations with the plan. The next day a I set up my booth but the owner told me that I can no longer park any cars in the parking lot out front and he had his staff enforce that rule on me only. I feel discriminated against. What are my options to overcome this wrongdoing against me?

Asked on October 28, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under federal and state laws in this country actionable discrimination results when  aperson who is in a designated protected class under the law is discriminated against simply because he or she is a member of the protected class under the law.

Typically protected classes are based upon age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and the like.

From what you have written it does not appear that you have a legal or factual basis for a discrimination claim as to what you have written within the topic of your question.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The only illegal discrimination in a work/employment context is that against an employee (so it's not entirely clear that "discrimination" against a non-employee vendor would be illegal to begin with) which is directed against that employee due to his or her race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability, etc. That is, illegal discrimination is discrimination aimed against a person, in an employment context, because of the person's membership in a specifically protected class or category. This is the only illegal discrimination: it is not discrimination, for example, to take action against a person because you do not specifically like him or her, rather than because you do not like, for example, his or her race. From what you write, you caused a scene at the market: you "shouted" your frustrations with the owner's plan as he walked away. That would justify the owner in taking action against you personally, because of your actions and demeanor.


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