Skip to main content

Can I sue a Franchise owner for discrimination?

Mercersburg, PA |

I went in for a job orientation the other day and just as I walked in the franchise owner pulled me into another room and very rudely told me I had to take out my facial piercing NOW. I didn't know or I would have taken it out before I had come, but that wasn't the issue. What surprised me is when she had made an unnecessary comment about my ears stating: “ What are you going to do when your 60 and your earlobes are hanging down your shoulders?" Then she laughed at me. It was upsetting to say the least because I was there for a job, I tried to brush it off but it was very upsetting. I am an adult and I have NEVER had someone be so RUDE to me about the way I looked. I felt like she was judging me based on my appearance and not by my work ethic or personality, I felt discriminated against.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies.

    That being said, you were discriminated against based on your appearance. However, not all discrimination is illegal - only discrimination based on race, age 40+, gender, legally recognizable disability, ethnicity, etc. is illegal. Discriminating against someone solely because of appearance is not, unless the appearance issue implicates a protected class - i.e. discriminating against those who wear religious iconography, or against people whose appearance is impacted by a disability. What happened to you isn't right, but it is not illegal.

    /Christopher E. Ezold/

    The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
    Employment, Business and Health Law
    One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
    (610) 660-5585
    Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com
    www.ezoldlaw.com

    I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies. /Christopher E. Ezold/ The Ezold Law Firm, P.C. Employment, Business and Health Law One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 660-5585 Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com www.ezoldlaw.com


  2. This is way over the top behavior, but not illegal. I do not beleive it violates laws against discrimination because of any protected class (race, sex, age, disability, etc.) Sorry you were treated so rotten. Some people are inappropriate.


  3. At this time it isn't illegal discrimination to favor or disfavor someone merely because of their looks, you have to be a member of a protected class and even then prove the discrimination occurred because of the membership.

    I am licensed in New Mexico and Pennsylvania, and therefore any discussion of issues related to other states must considered within that context. In addition, my comments are not intended to create a legal representation but merely to respond to the limited facts presented by the question. Any opinion herein is not meant as a precise statement of legal rights or as a recommendation of any particular course of action. A more complete legal review can be obtained through local counsel.

Small business topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics