Is this store owner within his rights as a private business owner?

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  1. profile image0
    Motown2Chitownposted 11 years ago … 00470.html

    I find myself disturbed by this story.  I am a firm believer in the right of an individual to ask that his religious values be respected, but does that mean he should be able to demand that a privately owned business cater to those beliefs to the point of the violation of the civil rights of its employees?  Who's wrong here?  The business owner for refusing him service or the individual - who demands another bagger for his groceries and becomes belligerent when that demand isn't met?  Have we made no progress in terms of tolerance when a man feels it necessary to sue over a situation such as this one?  IMO, his religious rights were NOT violated, but the civil rights of the employee were, and the business owner has EVERY right to refuse this man service.

    What's your opinion?

    1. benisan85745 profile image61
      benisan85745posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I got a tad bit confused about the "consumer"wanting a "different" baggar?! Because  of race, or religion? For example, "don't touch my things "darkie"! Or, "Oy! He put dairy and meat products together"? Sadly, I understand the whole, OMG! I have been my lawyer, thing all to well. It is ridiculously out of control. However, be it as it America, I'm afraid the customer trumps winner when it comes to their civil rights or relious beliefs being violated. I don't know how much weight being an actual propieter of an establishment has with sensitive situations like these. Maybe, having to place a bold statement visible to all people about this policy where it can be read beforehand. Like the billions of dollars McDonalds® had to spend printing little warnings signs on their already safe cups, that the COFFEE in this cup maybe a little hot if you place it between your legs and spill some while driving. As stupid as that was, she won, and big. Hopefully, this issue was settled correctly and doesn't affect any future sales for you.

      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Ohhhhh, the McDonald's lady!!  Another thing that makes me fume when I think about it.  You're right, too many - WAY too many - Americans are sue happy and it's all because we tend to be very self-centered.  Don't do it my way?  I'll force you to legally if there's any conceivable way to do so!  I think it stinks.  Still, a privately owned business does reserve the right to refuse service to whomever it wishes.  The man should have maybe kept his mouth shut and simply bagged his own groceries or chosen to interrupt the transaction and gone elsewhere, IMO.

        Shoot, I'm even a little jealous that he got to complain about a bagger at all!  Here in the north of the US, we don't have baggers anymore.  Half the time, we may even have to pay for our bags!

        Thanks for the response.

    2. profile image0
      JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Store was within it's rights. If he doesn't like it, he can go to another store. He can't demand special treatment from a private business, especially not on the basis of racial discrimination(religious beleifs don't allow you to trump law).

      It would be just as ridiculous for him to say his creed calls for any store he shops at to sacrifice a human when he shops there.

      EDIT: that's what I get for not reading the whole thing, lol.

      The business was within its rights, right up until they locked him inside. They could try to file a charge against him, but it wouldn't stick.

      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        But they didn't actually file criminal trespass charges - it was a warning...and it was given when he came back on a different day altogether.

        And I'm still so unclear as to whether or not he was actually locked in and detained or if the store manager simply did lock the doors to keep other customers from coming in at the end of the business day and the customer simply overreacted.

        1. profile image0
          JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Wow... I really can't read today.

          Lol, not enough sleep I guess. You're right, from the sound of things no rights were violated, it doesn't say he tried to leave and they refused to open the doors for him.

          I'll just flip-flop back to my original ruling: store = innocent big_smile

          1. profile image0
            Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            It's okay.  The article isn't incredibly clear. 

            But, whew, what a mess!


      2. A Troubled Man profile image58
        A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Perhaps, store owners need to encourage scientists to create time machines that would allow the store owner to offer their customers a door they may pass through to be instantly transported back to the mid 1900's where they could freely enjoy segregation and white hands... or should I say white hands covered in red.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          An no one offers any sort of kudos to the young man who experienced the racial derision and simply walked away from it shaking his head.  To him I say "GREAT JOB!"

          1. Ralph Deeds profile image63
            Ralph Deedsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Yep. If it had been me I would have punched him out.

    3. Billy Hicks profile image79
      Billy Hicksposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      As for the customer, he has no case; plain and simple. There are too many reasons to list here, but the underlying theme here is that his behavior precipitated the stores actions.

      As for the store, had they chosen not to act on the customers behavior, I imagine we'd be reading a very different story about the "Hostile Working Environment" lawsuit filed by the bagger.

      The only potential issue I see would be if the Fire Marshal decided to jump the store's ass about locking the doors with customers inside, as this is a pretty big "no-no" most places. I can't speak intelligently however on the particular fire codes in that area, so I'm not even sure that it would be an issue.

      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        As regards a lawsuit by the employee...I don't think so.  He seems to be the one who acted with the most sense in the entire situation.

        IMO, of course.

    4. Ralph Deeds profile image63
      Ralph Deedsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The customer was completely off base. The owner of the store was right to ban him from the store.

  2. WriteAngled profile image75
    WriteAngledposted 11 years ago

    In the UK, any transaction that takes place in a shop is a freely entered contract between the shop owner and the customer. From a legal viewpoint, the shop owner is perfectly free to refuse to do business with any would be customer.

    With respect to the news story you cite, more power to the shop owner for standing up against this piece of subhuman garbage that tries to turn its obnoxious racist views into a question of religion.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      WriteAngled, that was my initial reaction also!  The only thing that made me consider the story as more than that was the response of the store owner and the cashier.  Perhaps if the cashier had offered to bag the groceries or simply suggested that the customer do it himself, the entire legal bruhaha could have been avoided.

      Still, it just seems like something that might have been in the news fifty years ago - not now, in 21st century America.

      Thanks for your response.  I feel you, indeed!


  3. wilderness profile image93
    wildernessposted 11 years ago

    Looks to me like the business was legally in the wrong, but not for the expected reasons. 

    Unless the customer was notified prior to entering the store he had no way of knowing he was trespassing.  No signs, no indication that he was being singled out for that "honor".  In addition, the store DID kidnap him by locking him inside and preventing him from leaving.  The store certainly has a right to refuse service, but not to detain him without notification that the action would be taken.  He would have had every right to break out a window and exit the building had he chosen to do so.

    The customer has no right whatsoever to demand a certain color of bagger.  At most, he may demand to bag his own groceries.  Nor are those groceries his until paid for, which is AFTER they are bagged.  This pathetic example of human racism is using a faux "religious" excuse to promote that racism and has no right at all to enter the store if he has been told to stay away and the store should have told him to exit and leave the groceries at the first sign of trouble. Permanently.  With groceries at the stores discretion but without the free bags actual customers are offered.

    A hard call for the store, but one that should have been made.  I have to wonder, too, just who this "customer" thought was stocking the shelves?  Or filling the bean cans at the factory?  Or picking the tomatoes? All white crews?  Looks to me like just another bigot trying to get in the news and spread the word that such actions are right and necessary for the good of the world.  Absolutely disgusting.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      wilderness, I see your point entirely as regards detaining the customer.  IF that is indeed what the business owner did.  He claims that the doors were locked only because the business was closing and they didn't wish to attract any more customers that night.  I could understand both of those scenarios and how they could be misunderstood.

      This was my initial gut reaction as well.  I was incensed by the fact that this man made religious adherents look like morons - yet again - simply because he wished to behave like a jerk.  Sigh.

      I have to wonder if the man didn't actually SET OUT to create the situation - for publicity and a possible payday.

      1. wilderness profile image93
        wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Well, it doesn't say, but it sounds as if the store just suddenly decided to shut down in the middle of the day.  An obvious ploy without merit and although I certainly sympathize with their actions they don't seem legal.

        And yes, I think the customer set out to cause the reaction and get in the news.  His reasoning, too, seems completely bogus.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Indeed.  I agree with both of your points.  It certainly could have been handled a bit more delicately by the employees/store owner.  May have shut the guy down in his stupid plan.


    2. A Troubled Man profile image58
      A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this


      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Don't you love it when others read your mind?  smile

        1. A Troubled Man profile image58
          A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I must say that both Wilderness and yourself have an amazing gift, there. wink

          1. profile image0
            Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Why, thank you.  I appreciate the compliment.  I think it's because we both tend to listen to people with a sincere desire to understand them, rather than a desire to shoot them down with our own blowhard opinions as soon as they've completed their sentences.


  4. rebekahELLE profile image83
    rebekahELLEposted 11 years ago

    'Religious' beliefs can make for some very bigoted, rude, screwed- up people. 
    It's very disturbing to read stories like this.  It's not the 1950's.

    He went back into the same store presuming that he could create the same situation again. If it was such an assault to his 'creed', why didn't he go to a different store?
    Now he's in the news.  People like this are disgusting.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Oh, rebekah, that's what bothers me the most.  That this man pretends that his absolutely inexcusable behavior was due to his religion.  It wasn't.  It was motivated by his wish to be an idiot and get his way.  When that didn't happen as a result of his belligerence, he tried to force it by making someone feel that they had insulted his faith.

      Makes those of us who have an active, vital faith (and would NEVER behave this way) look like a bunch of a$$holes.


  5. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    I am not at all disturbed,  The man disrespected the staff and was banned.  His law suit will go nowhere.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Let's hope, psycheskinner.  It really is a frivolous one.

      1. profile image0
        writeronlineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Sadly, (because clearly, from a moral, commonsense, ethical, even plain fairness standpoint, there is no case to answer) I wouldn't be at all sure the law suit will go nowhere. For a 'no win, no fee' lawyer, those moral, commonsense and ethical issues are irrelevant. All that matters is the potential for a pre-trial settlement, even if based solely on the time-tested argument that, "you don't need the hassle, and can't afford the expense of a trial that will have a huge, possibly crippling effect on your small business, irrespective of the verdict. Just give our client $XXX  'without prejudice' and we can keep everyone's names out of court". Tell me that isn't likely already happening.

  6. SpanStar profile image61
    SpanStarposted 11 years ago

    This is a clear case of bigotry and we all know ignorant follows bigotry. The article stated that when this person takes his groceries he says it become his property like I said ignorance, the items don't become his property until they are paid for.

    I'm not certain how many businesses actually post sign but I have seen several restaurants with posted signs stating "we have the right to refuse service to who we choose".

    When we as customers enter into an establishment we may have some leeway in our request of these businesses but we cannot go into establishments thinking that we can't dictate how businesses are supposed to operate. If we are not satisfied with how a business operates we are free at least in this country to go somewhere else.


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