What are public accommodations?

Answer

In the U.S., there are two different categories of public accommodations:

  • Government-owned/operated facilities and services
  • Privately-owned/operated businesses and buildings

Government-owned/operated facilities and services. Government-owned facilities include courthouses, jails, hospitals, parks, and other places owned and operated by federal, state and local government. Government-operated services, programs, or activities provided by federal, state, or local governments include transportation systems and government benefits programs.

Privately-owned/operated businesses and buildings. Privately-owned businesses and facilities that offer certain goods or services to the public -- including food, lodging, gasoline, and entertainment -- are considered public accommodations for purposes of federal and state anti-discrimination laws. For purposes of disability discrimination, the definition of a "public accommodation" is even more broad, encompassing most businesses that are open to the public (regardless of type).

Source: FindLaw.com