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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Can a restaurant manager or employee ask a paying, polite

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Can a restaurant manager or employee ask a paying, polite patron to leave because the patron is conducting an interview for their business at the restaurant? That happened to me today, in Kent, WA and I don't believe the manager has the grounds to do that. Thanks, Mark

Hi Mark,

I am very sorry to hear that this happened to you and I can understand why it was upsetting. Unfortunately, though, it's perfectly legal. As the restaurant is private property the manager, or an employee acting with the support of management, can ask anyone to leave at any time for any reason. The only exception would be discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait such as race or religion. You can write a negative review about your experience online. You can also take your business elsewhere. Unfortunately, though, there is no basis for any sort of legal action on the facts you have described. I am terribly sorry.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks for your reply. I found something online for another state that indicated that a business owner couldn't refuse service for anyone who wasn't breaking any rules (e.g. no shirt no shoes no service), or acting in an improper way (e.g. too loud and boisterous annoying other customers). So I was surprised to get your response. Does it make a difference that the property is owned by another party, the mall owner, not the restaurant? Thanks, Mark

Thank you for your reply.

The information you found online is a good example of why it's better to come here to get legal answers--so much of what you find online is plain wrong. There is nothing illegal about refusing service as there is no protect right to receive service from a private business. Again, the only exception would be if you were denied service on the basis of a legally protected trait such as your race. It also would not make any different if the propery was owned by another property. The business has clearly leased the property, which is how they are running their business out of it. They have the right to control who is own their property just as someone who leases an apartment has the right to kick a person out of their apartment. Again, I am very sorry, but there is simply no legal violation here.

Again if there is anything more I can do for you just let me know. It's my pleasure....

Excuse the typos there, I am trying out some new voice dictation software.

The above should read: "It also would not make any different if the property was owned by another person."

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks for your response, while not what I expected helpful to know!

I am very glad I could help, and I am truly sorry for the experience you had because I can understand how frustrating it would be. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

Patrick, Esq. and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Are you still with me Mark?

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