Man Wins Sexual Discrimination Claim Against Club - 8 News NOW

Melissa Duran, Reporter

Man Wins Sexual Discrimination Claim Against Club

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"When you have one price for men and one price for women, that's clearly discrimination -- clearly sex discrimination," said Phillips. "When you have one price for men and one price for women, that's clearly discrimination -- clearly sex discrimination," said Phillips.
Nevada Revised Statute says it is against public policy to discriminate in public accommodation. But it's not a law. Nevada Revised Statute says it is against public policy to discriminate in public accommodation. But it's not a law.
A promotional sign that sometimes sits outside the LVAC offering women free enrollment is what triggered Todd Phillips to take some action. A promotional sign that sometimes sits outside the LVAC offering women free enrollment is what triggered Todd Phillips to take some action.

The Nevada Equal Rights Commission has determined the Las Vegas Athletic Club was discriminating when it offered free enrollment at its gyms to women and not men. But enforcing the ruling may be tough.

The man who brought this complaint against the athletic club says this ruling is a major step for civil rights and is a wake up call for all of those Strip night clubs that offer free perks for ladies. But others say the ruling probably won't hold up in court.

A promotional sign that sometimes sits outside the LVAC offering women free enrollment is what triggered Todd Phillips to take some action -- filing a complaint with the Equal Rights Commission saying the offer was discriminatory against men.

One year later the NERC agrees.

"When you have one price for men and one price for women, that's clearly discrimination -- clearly sex discrimination," said Phillips.

He now warns local nightclubs on and off the Strip that price discrimination also applies to them, "If you have a place of public accommodations, whether it is a casino, nightclub, strip club, health club, all those places have to obey the law."

But whether it is law is what's in question. Nevada Revised Statute says it is against public policy to discriminate in public accommodation. But it's not a law.

Gary Peck with the ACLU says there is a difference, saying public policy is a view of the state, not something you can get penalized for, "It's just simply not illegal, but merely against state public policy to discriminate in public accommodations based on sex or sexual orientation."

But Phillips disagrees, "Public policy is the law. The policy under which I am suing is NRS 233. A statute is a law, is a law, is a law."

Eyewitness News tried to get a hold of several nightclubs who offer free perks for ladies. MGM-Mirage was the only one to respond saying, "The state's public accommodation statute does not prohibit different cover charges on the basis of gender, and never intended to prohibit such practices as ladies nights."

MGM-Mirage and LVCA say they will continue to operate as usual, but Todd Phillips says he's ready to take his case to court.

Even though this was a determination by the NERC, there is still a ways to go. The athletic club doesn't feel they are breaking any laws and say they are also ready to take this to court.

Email your comments to Reporter Melissa Duran

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