I was harassed, kicked out of a supermarket and humiliates because I did not have shoes on. I walk barefoot and this is not illegal, but I hope that senseless harassment could be. What can we do?
It is certainly your right to walk around barefoot in public. However, a supermarket is a private business and they have the right to refuse a persons business so long as it is not based on a protected class. We have all been to restaurants that have signs that say "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service." A supermarket is no different. It also could however be a health code violation as they sell and serve food there.
As with anything these days, a person a can file a lawsuit. However, it would not likely be a fruitful one. Other attorneys may disagree. However, if you want to file a lawsuit you will need a money retainer to hire a lawyer as the case would have little to no monetary value.
If this Answer was of assistance please mark it as "helpful." Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.
I completely agree with my colleague on this. The store can set the conditions of entering as regards safety and health.
This response contains general legal information and is not intended to serve as specific legal advice for your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to contact an attorney in order to have a thorough and confidential consultation in order to obtain specific legal advice for your matter.
They had every right to kick you out. Whether you have any cause of action depends on the specific facts of the harassment you alleged.
Private businesses can have reasonable requirements for entry. There are also health code requirements for businesses that sell or serve food. It is reasonable for a grocery store to require that patrons wear shoes. Unfortunately you do not have an absolute right to walk barefoot in a private establishment. You would not be successful in such a lawsuit based on the facts provided.
If the signs all over NYC that say "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" were illegal -- you can rest assured that a lawyer or dozens -- maybe hundreds -- would have already brought countless cases to court over the issue.
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