NCFM was made aware of the Sea Otter Classic, a major annual event in Monterey, California. Their promotional materials said, “Ladies Day is for all females—adults and children… a free Festival Pass for all women and girls, providing them entry to the Sea Otter Expo and other Festival areas at no charge…” Men and boys over the age of 12 had to pay $10 admission.
One of our National Coalition For Men volunteer attorneys, Al Rava, researched the issue. We then sent the Sea Otter Classic a letter ( 110321 ltr to Sea Otter Classic re Unruh and sex discrimination ) advising them that charging men for something women received for free was a violation of several California laws.
For example, the Unruh Act establishes $4,000 sanctions for each violation. Each of the 37 sponsors and the event organizers may have been liable. If just two males over the age of 12 were discriminated against and sued the Sea Otter Classic and its sponsors sanctions could have been as high as $340,000 plus attorney fees.
Within days we received a response from their attorney ( 110323 NCFM Unruh ltr from Sea Otter Classic Attorneys ) . He assured us that men would not pay a higher fee than women.
Local media took an interest in the story including the Monterey County “The Herald” in the article Men’s group balks at Sea Otter Classic Ladies’ Day, and in the KSBW Action News 8 story Controversy Over Sea Otter Classic’s “Ladies Day”. The Herald story even showed up on Yahoo News.
This looks like a great event. I’m hoping to attend. If you’re in the area you might consider attending too.
Imagine if a class action suit had been filed. You do the math. Considering what was at risk I’ll keep checking the mail box for thank you letters from all the sponsors…