Discrimination

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USA: 9th Circuit Court of Appeal upholds block on "Travel Ban"

In a unanimous, per curiam ruling, a three-judge panel largely upheld the block on President Trump’s revised Travel Ban keeping people from six majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States for 90 days. The judges pointed out that although the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) gives the President broad  powers to control the entry of aliens, and to take actions to protect the American public, immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show. The President’s authority is subject to certain statutory and constitutional restraints .

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U.S.A.: DOT fines airlines for not adequately responding to complaints of disabled passengers

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined Air France, Lufthansa, and British Airways for not adequately responding to complaints filed by passengers with disabilities.  Air France and Lufthansa were each fined USD 200,000 and British Airways was fined USD 150,000.  The airlines were also ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations.

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UK: Supreme Court finds refusal of double room to same sex couple discriminatory

In its judgement of Nov. 27, 2013, in case Bull and another v Hall and another [2013] UKSC 73, the UK Supreme Court held that a same sex couple had been directly discriminated against because of their sexual orientation when they were refused a double room in a hotel. For religious reasons, Mr and Mrs Bull, the hotel owners, only permitted married couples to share a double room in their hotel and did not recognise civil partnership as equivalent to marriage.

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USA: New Jersey judge dismisses hotel waitresses' gender discrimination claim

A group of 22 waitresses of the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City filed a law suit for gender discrimination. The hotel explicitly hires cocktail waitresses based on appearance and requires them to meet and maintain certain weight standards and wear short dresses while male servers are not held to the same standards. However, a New Jersey judge dismissed these claims and concluded that the plaintiffs knew what they were getting themselves into, and that the hotel had been clear about the fact that personal appearance was a key component of the job.

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U.S. travel industry worried about anti-gay law in Russia

According to a report published in "Travel Weekly", the travel industry in the U.S. struggled to decide how to handle Russia’s recently enacted anti-gay law, which could potentially put clients traveling to Russia at risk of arrest. The law prohibits the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors" but is widely seen as a government-backed attempt at aggressive suppression of homosexual behavior. Many travel professionals in particular are concerned about the lack of a clear definition of what exactly constitutes illegal behavior.

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USA: equal rights for same-sex spouses in visa applications

The U.S. State Department has announced that it will treat visa applications of same-sex spouses in the same way that it treats applications of heterosexual spouses, effective immediately. Under the new rules, any marriage that has been performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes it as legal, will be treated as valid under U.S. immigration laws, and every married couple will be treated the same.

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German Supreme Court: domiciliary right allows hotel to ban extremist politician from its premises

In the case of the former chairman of the extreme right wing German NPD ("Democratic Party of Germany"), Udo Voigt, whose wife had booked a private vacation at a wellness resort in Brandenburg but they were denied access by the hotel director on the reason that Voigt's extreme politcal views were detrimental to the image of the hotel and the other guests' desire for comfort and relaxation (see IFTTA news of 23 November, 2010), the German Supreme Court (BGH) has for the most part uph

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Canada: body height is not a disability

Malcolm Johnson filed an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) against Air Canada with respect to additional fees charged for economy class seats that afford extra leg room. Mr. Johnson submitted that, due to his height, he could not sit in a “regular seat” without endangering his health due to restricted circulation in his legs from cramped seating.

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USA: DOT fines Spirit Airlines over handling of disability complaints and Finnair for violating price advertising rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Spirit Airlines USD 100,000 for failing to appropriately record and respond to complaints about the carrier’s treatment of passengers with disabilities, violating DOT’s rules implementing the Air Carrier Access Act which prohibits discrimination in air travel on the basis of disability.

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Taiwan: Hong Kong Dragon Airlines accused of discrimination

A Taiwanese tourist accused Hong Kong Dragon Airlines of discrimination for letting Hong Kong passengers switch to a Cathay Pacific flight while denying her the same arrangement after her flight was grounded by tire problems on Oct. 20. Dragon Airlines said that it had not discriminated against any passenger but that the Hong Kong passengers were more eligible for transfer because they did not have checked baggage. The carrier said it will continue its current practice of allowing passengers with no checked baggage to switch planes in the future.

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