At my health club the receptionist puts DNWAM (do not want as member) on all the black membership application. They also charge higher rates and no financing. Can the black applicants bring a...

At my health club the receptionist puts DNWAM (do not want as member) on all the black membership application. They also charge higher rates and no financing. Can the black applicants bring a successful action under Title VII?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Under Title VII, a bona fide private membership club, that is also not a labor organization, which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of Title 26 (the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) is exempt from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. A health club which is also a business must, of course, pay taxes; therefore, it does not have exemption from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since it is not excluded from the rulings of Title VII, this club cannot discriminate against anyone because of race, color, or creed. Not allowing African Americans as members of this health club is clearly discriminatory as is charging them different rates or refusing them financing for memberships.

Such practices as those mentioned were, indeed, carried on by some establishments surreptitiously through to the 1970s. It was not long before action was taken, and the discriminatory organizations had to stop such practices to re-organize.