Public Accommodations Discrimination

Taxi company responsible for discriminatory conduct of its drivers

In December of 2009, Mark Seaman kissed his male partner in a taxi and the driver ejected them both.

Mr. Seaman filed a complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) against PHL Taxi alleging a violation of the Fair Practices Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. PHL Taxi asserted that as a dispatcher it is not responsible for the discriminatory conduct of its drivers.

In the recently released Final Decision and Order, PCHR rejected PHL Taxi’s argument finding that PHL Taxi assumed certain obligations and privileges under state law, which includes adhering to the Fair Practice Ordinance.

Under the Order, PHL Taxi must: instruct its driver to not discriminate; educate its employees and drivers on the Fair Practices Ordinance; pay reasonable attorneys’ fees; and pay a $500 penalty to the Complainant.

Ronda B. Goldfein and Jacob M. Eden of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania represented Mr. Seaman in this case.
The AIDS Law Project believes fighting discrimination in the LGBT community is essential to protecting the rights of people living with HIV.

Click here for a copy of the Final Decision and Order.

Click here to read the article.