Trump Supporter Suing NYC Bar For Discrimination
Greg Piatek said bartenders refused to serve him because of his "Make America Great Again" hat -- so now he's suing.
The 30-year-old accountant from Philadelphia was in New York City in late January with two friends. After visiting the 9/11 Memorial, they went to The Happiest Hour in the West Village for drinks in the early evening.
He claims bartenders refused to serve him and he was eventually kicked out of the bar.
"Anyone who supports Trump or believes what you believe is not welcome here. And you need to leave right now because we won't serve you!" a manager told Piatek, according to the lawsuit, which was filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court.
Piatek got one round of drinks at the Happiest Hour. When he tried to order a second, however, a male bartender skipped taking his order. The lawsuit says the bartender gave a "lengthy death stare and then walked directly by them countless times over a period of fifteen to twenty minutes."
The bartender did eventually get Piatek his order after asking if the Donald Trump hat was a joke, but allegedly "slammed the drinks down."
Later, another bartender also asked if his hat was a joke and reportedly said,
I can't believe you would support someone so terrible and you must be as terrible a person!
She told Piatek she would not get him a drink, so he shouldn't bother asking.
Eventually, the manager spoke to the bar owner and kicked Piatek and his friends out of the bar.
Piatek is suing for discrimination, and he actually has a decent case here.
We often see these cases of refusal to serve when it comes from conservatives to liberals. Think, for example, of bakers refusing to make cakes for same-sex marriages.
Just last month, for instance, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that a florist violated an anti-discrimination law by refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex marriage.
New York state also has anti-discrimination laws, which includes discriminating against someone based on their "creed." That could be viewed as "support for Trump."
If the Happiest Hour swung this as a religious decision, however, they might just have a defense.
The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case decided that companies don't have to cover birth control through insurance if it's against a company's religion (because apparently businesses have religions.)
If this case does somehow end up at the federal Supreme Court -- and if Trump's Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, is confirmed to the court -- that defense has strong precedent to be upheld. Gorsuch approved that Hobby Lobby ruling.
But for now, we just have this suit going forward... and Yelp reviews. Trump supporters are flooding the Happiest Hour's Yelp page to post mean comments and bad reviews.