2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Franks
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT ANY PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENT FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PATRONS BASED ON THEIR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION OR ASSOCIATED ATTIRE, RELIGIOUS ATTIRE, OR ETHNIC CLOTHING; TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS; TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS; TO PROVIDE FOR CIVIL REMEDIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This Act shall be know as the Mississippi Mode of Transportation, Religious and Ethnic Clothing, Equal Access Act.
SECTION 2. The following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Public Accommodation" means a business or other entity that offers to the general public, food, shelter, recreation, amusement, or any other goods, service, privilege, facility or accommodation.
(b) "Attire" means any article of clothing that is required or associated with:
(i) A particular individual's or group's means of transportation;
(ii) Safety or health concerns arising from any legal means of transportation;
(iii) An individual's affiliation with a fraternal organization or other organized group who may travel together or share a common creed; or,
(iv) An individual's or group's religion, race, or gender.
SECTION 3. A person or entity that owns, operates or is employed by a public accommodation may not restrict an individual or group from access or admission to the accommodation or otherwise prevent the individual or group from fully using the accommodation and the amenities normally associated with such, solely because of the individuals or groups:
(a) Mode of transportation;
(b) Attire which may be associated with the individuals preferred mode of transportation;
(c) Affiliation with any fraternal organization or other group engaging in their preferred mode of transportation;
(d) Attire that may be associated with an individual's or group's religion, race, or gender.
SECTION 4. This act does not prohibit a person that owns or operates a public accommodation from denying to an individual access or admission to use of the accommodation if:
(a) The conduct of the individual poses a risk to the health or safety of another person or a risk to the safety of another person's property; or
(b) The person's clothing does not conform with a dress code that is:
(i) In effect at the public accommodation;
(ii) Stated clearly; and
(iii) Not designed to exclude a particular individual or group of individuals or a particular industry or class.
SECTION 5. An individual injured by a violation of this act may bring an action to recover actual damages, civil damages, injunctive relief, and reasonable attorney fees based on reasonable hourly billing plus cost for the violation. Civil damages shall not exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), exclusive of attorney's fees.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.