Public Accommodation Discrimination

Discrimination in places of public accommodation in Cambridge is prohibited by the Cambridge Human Rights Ordinance. A public accommodation is any business or other establishment that provides goods and services to the public (examples: hotels, restaurants, retail stores, shopping malls, hospitals, rest rooms, parks, theaters, gymnasiums, and transportation terminals). Under the Ordinance it is an unlawful practice for any person directly or indirectly to withhold, deny, curtail or in any manner limit the full use of a public accommodation by any person, or discriminate against such person with respect to the use of such accommodation, because of the race, color, sex, age, religious creed, disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family status, military status or source of income of such person.

Under the Human Rights Ordinance, places of public accommodation are required to remove structural barriers that impede access by people with disabilities when it is readily achievable to do so. Examples of such barriers include narrow entry doorways, one step entrances without ramps, checkout counters that are too high and parking lots without designated accessible parking spaces.

A person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in a place of public accommodation in Cambridge should contact the Cambridge Human Rights Commission to schedule an interview and file a complaint.