The Attorney General's Office enforces state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination in places of public accommodation. The Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law ( M.G.L c. 272, s. 92A, 98 and 98A ) prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on religion, creed, class, race, color, denomination, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, or because of deafness or blindness, or any physical or mental disability.

Laws

M.G.L. c. 272, s. 92A, defines a place of public accommodation as "any place, whether licensed or unlicensed, which is open to and accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public." Places of public accommodation include:

  • Hotels, inns, motels, campgrounds, resorts;
  • Restaurants, bars, and other establishments serving food or drink;
  • Theaters, concert halls, sports stadiums, and other places of entertainment;
  • Auditoriums, convention centers, lecture halls, houses of worship, and other places of public gathering;
  • Sales and rental establishments, including stores, shopping centers, automobile rental agencies, and other retail establishments;
  • Service establishments, including laundromats, dry-cleaners, banks, barber shops, travel agents, gas stations, funeral parlors, employment agencies, and providers of professional services such as lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, and insurance agents;
  • Health care facilities, including dental and medical offices, pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health facilities;
  • Transportation vehicles of all types and transportation stations, terminals, depots, platforms and facilities appurtenant thereto;
  • Museums, libraries, galleries, and other places of public display or collection;
  • Parks, zoos, amusement parks, and other places of recreation;
  • Child care centers, senior citizens centers, homeless shelters, food banks, adoption agencies, and other social service establishments;
  • Gymnasiums, health spas, bowling alleys, swimming pools, beaches, golf courses, and other places of exercises or recreation.

If You Are a Victim

The AGO accepts and reviews complaints concerning discrimination in places of public accommodation. If you believe you have experienced discrimination in a place of public accommodation, you may contact the Civil Rights Division of the AGO at (617) 727-2200, or you may file a civil rights complaint. In addition you may file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination at (617) 994-6000, or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at (617) 565-3200.