(Carson City, Nev.) – Governor Steve Sisolak (D-Nev.) signed Assembly Bill 207 into law Wednesday, extending Nevada’s public accommodations laws to protect online services. This will prohibit online service providers and e-commerce platforms from engaging in discrimination, and will allow legal action against online harassers who threaten or intimidate Nevadans on the basis of their protected characteristics.
“When a business posts a sign that says, ‘Whites Only,’ it should not matter whether it is written in ink or pixels. The discrimination and the harm are the same. Nevada is to be applauded for recognizing that, online or offline, no business should be allowed to engage in discrimination and no one should be allowed to interfere with the equal enjoyment of places of public accommodation.
“For far too long, online entities have gone unchecked, and prevented communities of color from having equal participation in modern online life. Billion-dollar websites should be held to the same civil rights protection standards as the brick-and-mortar corner store. And no one should have to endure hateful threats and harassment in order to patronize a business purportedly open to everyone. The passage of this bill today will protect Nevadans against online discrimination and intimidation.”
Assembly Bill 207 was introduced by Assembly Member Howard Watts III in March 2021, and passed the legislature on May 25. Public accommodations statutes are a cornerstone of civil rights law and the primary method of ending segregation. Nevada is the seventh jurisdiction to apply its public accommodations laws to online entities, and the second to do so via legislation.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.